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11 March 2020

NMC Health unauthorised loan facilities increase debt to $5 billion

NMC Health has been in freefall since December 2019, when short-seller Muddy Waters Capital accused it of financial improprieties

NMC Health had appointed Moelis & Co. and PwC to help the company in respect to its financial position/Bloomberg

by Kudakwashe Muzoriwa

The board of NMC Health said that the hospital operator’s debt position was materially above the last reported number as at 30 June 2019 and is currently estimated to be around $5 billion following the discovering of more than $2.7 billion in previously undisclosed debt facilities.

In a bourse filing, NMC Health stated that some of the proceeds from undisclosed debt facilities may have been used for unauthorised purposes, adding that work on verifying this figure is ongoing.

The UAE-based beleaguering hospital operator had appointed Moelis & Co. and PwC to help the company in its discussions with lenders as well as assist in providing transparency with respect to its financial position.

In January 2020, the firm put former US Federal Bureau of Investigation Director Louis Freeh in charge of a review, which found that businesses owned by founder Bavaguthu Raghuram Shetty, who stepped down from the board in February and former Vice Chairman Khaleefa Bin Butti borrowed money from NMC’s supply-chain finance lender.

NMC Health guaranteed repayment of those $335 million of borrowings and the board was unaware of these arrangements, which had been in place since early 2018.

The shares have been suspended in London since Freeh’s findings were revealed on 27 February 2020 and the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority has started a formal enforcement investigation.

RELATED STORIES: Bavaguthu Raghuram Shetty PwC Moelis & Co. NMC Health Khaleefa Bin Butti





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