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NMC Healthcare weighs IPO among strategic options

The NMC specialty hospital in Abu Dhabi is one of 85 the group owns and operates Reuters/Satish Kumar
The NMC speciality hospital in Abu Dhabi is one of 85 the group owns and operates

The UAE hospital group NMC Healthcare has appointed Rothschild & Co as its first financial adviser, to review strategic options for its future, including a sale or initial public offering.

The second financial adviser will be appointed in due course.

The Abu Dhabi-headquartered healthcare provider completed its restructuring in March 2022, which included appointing a new board of directors and PwC as its auditor.

NMC Health was founded by BR Shetty in 1974 as the New Medical Centre in Abu Dhabi. It became the UAE’s biggest privately-owned healthcare operator.

It owns and operates 85 hospitals, speciality clinics and medical facilities under the NMC brand and the ProVita International Medical Centre, CosmeSurge, and Fakih IVF Fertility Centre brands.

The group serves more than 5.5 million patients annually.

“We are exploring strategic alternatives for the company at an exciting time in the UAE,” said NMC Healthcare’s CEO, David Hadley.

“The market is witnessing rapid population growth and presents an attractive opportunity to provide high-quality medical services across diverse and changing demographics,” Hadley said.

NMC, which used to be listed in London, ran into trouble in 2020. It went into administration after it disclosed more than $4 billion in hidden debt.

The company’s issues began in late 2019, when the US-based short-seller Muddy Waters Research questioned its finances, leading to a sharp fall in its share price.

In March, NMC reached an out-of-court settlement with Dubai Islamic Bank, ending a long-running legal dispute with the lender.

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