February 27, 2020 / 3:25 PM / a month ago

NMC Health's expansion and ailments

(Reuters) - Britain’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) will investigate NMC Health, the UAE healthcare company said on Thursday, after trading in its shares on the London stock exchange was suspended.

FILE PHOTO: General view of NMC specialty hospital in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, February 11, 2020. REUTERS/Satish Kumar/File Photo

NMC is the largest private healthcare company in the United Arab Emirates and operates a network of clinics and hospitals, specialised maternity and fertility clinics, and long-term care homes and hospitals in 19 countries.

In December, short-selling firm Muddy Waters acquired a short position and criticised NMC finances. The company’s market value since then has fallen to under 2 billion pounds ($2.60 billion), a far cry from its peak value of about 8.4 billion pounds in August 2018.

The following is a timeline of events at NMC Health:

1975

Bavaguthu Raghuram (BR) Shetty establishes New Medical Centre (NMC), the first private healthcare facility in the UAE.

2012

NMC becomes the first company from Abu Dhabi to join here the London Stock Exchange.

2015

NMC bids for regional rival Al Noor Hospitals Group, sparking a race with South Africa’s Mediclinic, before eventually pulling out over valuation concerns.

2017

NMC is promoted to the blue chip FTSE 100 index.

2018

NMC raises $2 billion for general corporate purposes and for refinancing existing debt, sources say here

2019

October

NMC guides for double-digit revenue and core earnings growth in 2020.

Dec. 17

U.S. short-selling firm Muddy Waters, founded by American Carson Block, acquires a short position in NMC, criticising the healthcare group’s financial statements and wiping a third off the value of the company’s share price.

Dec. 18

NMC stands by its forecasts for 2019 and 2020 and announces a share buyback.

Dec. 19

NMC calls the Muddy Waters report criticising the healthcare group’s financial statements “false and misleading”.

Dec. 23

NMC calls for an independent review of its finances.

2020

Jan. 8

Two major shareholders launch a discounted share sale in NMC worth 375 million pounds.

Jan. 17

Independent review committee hires former U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) boss Louis Freeh.

Feb. 4

NMC says 2019 trading is in line with expectations.

Feb. 10

NMC discloses preliminary buyout approaches from private equity firms KKR and GK Investment, and says co-chair and founder Shetty had stepped back from its board after informing the group of potentially inaccurate reporting of his holdings.

Feb. 11

KKR says it does not intend to make an offer for NMC, but Italian-backed GKSD Investment Holding confirms it could bid.

Feb. 12

Ratings agency S&P places NMC on creditwatch negative due to governance deficiencies.

Feb. 13

Moody’s places ratings under review for downgrade.

Feb. 14

NMC says its vice chairman is stepping down from the board as it tries to unravel details of the holdings of its top investors.

Feb. 17

BR Shetty resigns as joint non-executive chairman, leaving British businessman HJ Mark Tompkins as sole chairman.

Feb. 18

NMC says it was disappointed with the disclosures made by Shetty and that it is urgently seeking clarity on his shareholding arrangements and holdings in the company.

Feb. 21

BR Shetty hires investment firm Houlihan Lokey to advise on strategic options for its portfolio and debt restructuring, a source familiar with the matter says.

Feb. 24

Shetty enters funded equity collar transaction with Goldman Sachs, under which over 7 million NMC shares are pledged as security for debt.

Feb. 26

Chief Executive Prasanth Manghat is removed to be succeeded by Chief Operating Officer Michael Davis in an interim role. NMC’s investigation committee says it is reviewing a drawdown of its facilities that had not been disclosed or approved by the board.

Feb. 27

Shares are suspended on the London Stock Exchange.

UK’s financial watchdog launches its investigation.

Source: Company website, reports, Refinitiv data

($1 = 0.7669 pounds)

($1 = 0.7696 pounds)

Reporting by Noor Zainab Hussain and Pushkala Aripaka in Bengaluru; Editing by Jan Harvey, Susan Fenton and Grant McCool

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