NMC Health reveals KKR, GK approaches as founder Shetty steps back

NMC becomes a potential takeover target

NMC becomes a potential takeover target

NMC Health shares took a hit back in December, when USA short selling firm Muddy Waters accused NMC Health of manipulating its balance sheet to understate debt, which the company firmly denied.

It said separately on Monday that its co-chair and founder BR Shetty had stepped back from its board after he informed NMC of potentially inaccurate reporting of his holdings.

"As for the notion that NMC might receive private equity bids, it's hard for us to believe they would survive due diligence", he added.

NMC appointed former Federal Bureau of Investigation director Louis Freeh to look into the allegations.

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NMC Health said that its operations continued to perform "strongly" and that it expected to report full-year 2019 results in-line with its expectations.

'No proposal has been made by either potential offeror and there have been no discussions as to the terms of any possible offer, ' the company said.

GKSD, an investment automobile financed by sponsors of Italy's private hospital chain Gruppo San Donato (GSD), stated it was in the preliminary stages of contemplating an offer for NMC. Ludo Bammens, a spokesman for KKR, wasn't immediately available for comment. "Taking the business private might be the best thing to happen to NMC as it has lost credibility with the market and it will take a lot to rebuild trust with investors", Russ Mould, investment director at AJ Bell, said.

The declaration sent shares in UAE stationed NMC up to 10% lower before they recovered some losses to trade down 1% at 914 pence.

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'This suggests that the holdings and interests of Dr. B.R. Shetty, H.E. Mr Saeed Mohamed Butti Mohamed Khalfan Al Qebaisi and Mr Khaleefa Butti Omair Yousif Ahmed Al Muhairi have been incorrectly reported historically to the Company and the market, ' the statement said.

Based on the initial probe, the Indian billionaire's stake in NMC will likely come down by 9.58%, NMC said.

Dr Shetty owns 19.22 per cent stake as of May past year, while NMC vice-chair Muhairi and Qebaisi owned 15.82 per cent and 7.66 per cent, respectively, as of January 28, according to Refinitiv data. He is also the chair and founder of Travelex owner Finablr.

After Muddy Water's critical assessment was publicly disseminated, along with the news that the hedge fund had taken a short position in the shares, the shares have plunged more than 70%, forcing major shareholders to sell stock to cover margin calls.

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