UAE: NMC hires Moelis for restructuring as it is downgraded to junk

NMC Health Al Zahra Hospital, Sharjah

NMC Health has hired Moelis & Co, PwC and Allen & Overy to act as independent financial adviser, operational adviser and legal adviser respectively to stabilise the group’s financing.   

Moelis will support and advise the embattled private healthcare operator on discussions with its lenders, while PwC will assist on liquidity management and operational measures.

NMC said in a statement that it is currently ‘fully focused’ on safeguarding operational liquidity to continue funding existing operations throughout its various subsidiaries.

The London-listed company is asking for continued support and an informal standstill in relation to existing facilities from its lenders to achieve an immediate stabilisation of the group’s financing.

The informal standstill includes a request to lenders not to exercise any rights and remedies that may arise from any current or future defaults under the group’s finance documentation.

The move comes as the company faces an investigation for possible fraud by the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority.

Many are wondering when the bad news will stop. Ratings agency S&P has downgraded NMC from BB to CCC- saying that it believes that default is ‘inevitable’ in the next six months. And the healthcare company was ignominiously turfed out of the FTSE 100 index on 5 March as part of its quarterly reshuffle.

A glimmer of good news for the group came when Mishal Kanoo, chairman of The Kanoo Group, one of the largest, independent and longest running family owned groups of companies in the Gulf region, offered to join its board.

In a tweet on the 29 February, he said: ‘Hi @NMCHealthcare I believe in what you are doing in the healthcare sector in the #uae. If you are looking for a board member who believes in you, consider me for the job.’

At the same time, Bloomberg reports that the Abu Dhabi wealth fund Mubadala Investment has joined GKSD Investment, which is backed by sponsors of Italy’s Gruppo San Donato, as a possible saviour for the group.