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29 March 2020
INVESTMENT

NMC Health appoints Faisal Belhoul as executive chairman

NMC Health has been in freefall since December 2019, when short-seller Muddy Waters Capital alleged it had overpaid for assets, inflated cash balances and understated debt

NMC Health recently revealed that its debt is estimated to be around $6.6 billion/Bloomberg

by Kudakwashe Muzoriwa

NMC Health has appointed Ithmar Capital’s Managing Partner, Faisal Belhoul, as executive chairman after the Dubai-based private equity firm acquired a nine per cent stake in the hospital operator.

In a bourse filing, NMC Health stated that the board decided that the appointment was appropriate as the company is reviewing its previous financial irregularities, discussing its debt position with its lenders, focusing on preserving value for its stakeholders and continuing to deliver care to patients.

Belhoul will replace NMC Health’s non-executive chairman, H. J. Mark Tompkins, who stepped down from the board with ‘immediate effect’ following a period of ill health which has prevented him from participating in board activities. Tompkins had been a joint non-executive chairman of NMC Health since 2012 alongside the company’s founder, Bavaguthu Raghuram Shetty.

BR Shetty stepped down from his position as joint non-executive chairman of the beleaguering company in February 2020 after disclosures about its governance and he is believed to be in India.

The hospital operator recently revealed that its debt is estimated to be around $6.6 billion, including the $360 million convertible bond and $400 million Sukuk, higher than the $5 billion reported earlier this month and significantly higher than the $2.1 billion last declared in its accounts.

NMC Health said that its bilateral and syndicated debt obligations comprise of over 75 debt facilities from over 80 financial institutions and work on verifying the outstanding debt obligations is continuing.

The board believes that some of the proceeds may have been utilised for non-group purposes and the company has commenced a project to trace such proceeds to consider what actions may be available to recover such monies.

NMC appointed Matthew J. Wilde as the company's Chief Restructuring Officer. Wilde has worked on restructurings with some of the region’s largest companies such as Al Jaber Group, Dubai World, DryDocks World and Carillion in recent years, both as an independent practitioner and as a restructuring partner at PwC.


RELATED STORIES: Bavaguthu Raghuram Shetty H. J. Mark Tompkins Ithmar Capital Faisal Belhoul NMC Health Matthew J. Wilde

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