* Takeover to be completed by end of Q1 2017
* Funding will be a mix of equity and debt
* NMC placing 10 pct of shares, has got $1.40 bln loan
(Adds share price, financing details)
By Stanley Carvalho
ABU DHABI, Dec 14 United Arab Emirates-based
healthcare provider NMC Health is buying the Al Zahra
Hospital in Sharjah for $560 million, the London-listed company
said on Wednesday, as it pushes ahead with its expansion in the
UAE and the Gulf.
The acquisition will be funded by a mix of equity and debt
with NMC placing around 10 percent of its issued share capital
equivalent to $300 million, Prasanth Manghat, deputy chief
executive, told Reuters.
NMC's three largest shareholders, who together control 61.6
per cent of NMC, plan to subscribe for up to $170 million of the
placement, he said.
The placement, launched on Wednesday, is being done through
a book-building process, he said.
The balance will be funded from new loan facilities of $1.40
billion provided by JP Morgan Ltd and Standard
Chartered Bank, with the new facilities to include an
18-month bridge facility.
NMC's shares fell 3.3 percent on the news to 14 pounds in
London at 1132 GMT.
NMC, like a number of other healthcare companies, is
benefiting from substantial growth in the Gulf's healthcare
market as an increasingly wealthy population becomes more
susceptible to diseases such as diabetes.
Al Zahra Hospital is one of the largest private hospitals in
the emirate of Sharjah, operating 137 beds, and will complement
NMC's existing network of seven out-patient medical centres
there, the company said.
"The acquisition of Al Zahra Hospital carries tremendous
strategic significance for NMC and expands the group's reach
within the region," Manghat said in a statement.
Since its share listing in London in 2012, NMC has made nine
acquisitions so far, five in the UAE, three in Europe and one in
The firm currently accounts for 26 percent of the UAE's
private healthcare beds, serving 3 million patients annually.
Excluding Al Zahra, it has a total of 1,135 beds operational,
mainly in the UAE.
The acquisition will have to be approved by NMC's
shareholders on Dec. 29 and, if so, the deal is expected to be
completed by the end of the first quarter 2017.
NMC entered Saudi Arabia in August, investing in a new
hospital in the Kingdom's western region, and acquired a
majority stake in a hospital in the eastern region, adding 260
beds to its total bed count
(Reporting by Stanley Carvalho, editing by Adrian Croft)