UAE: Troubles continue to pile up for NMC Health

BR Shetty, founder and chairman of NMC Health

BR Shetty, founder and chairman of NMC Health, has resigned from the board with immediate effect on 16 February.

The struggling GCC private healthcare operator has also announced the resignation of two other company directors and significant shareholders Hani Buttikhi and Abdulrahman Basaddiq.

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NMC said that HJ Mark Tompkins will continue as the sole non-executive chairman of the company.

Buttikhi, then chief investment officer at Centurion Partners, was appointed chief investment officer in June 2017 under the terms of the relationship agreement between the company and BR Shetty, Saeed Mohamed Butti Mohamed Khalfan Al Qebaisi and Khaleefa Butti Omair Yousif Ahmed Al Muhairi, which permitted the principal shareholders to appoint a number of their nominees to the board.

In his resignation letter, Buttikhi confirmed that he first became aware of previously unreported share transactions between the principal shareholders when they were announced by the company.

Buttikhi said that given his connection to shareholders who had nominated him to the board, he felt that it was appropriate that he step down as a result of these recent disclosures.

A former partner with EY, Basaddiq was also swift to distance himself from the company. He claims that he had no knowledge of any possible transfer of ownership of shares between the principal shareholders in May 2017, nor in relation to unreported pledges or other securitisation of shares by the principal shareholders.

In a statement, Tompkins said that he appreciated the situation both men felt they had been placed in and understood the reasons why they felt they needed to step down.

These resignations follow Friday’s (14 February) announcement that Khalifa Butti Omeir Bin Yousef, executive vice chairman, had resigned from the company.

Shares in the group have plummeted more than 70% so far this year after US short-seller Muddy Waters posted a damning report about the company. Attempts to stem the flow so far have failed.