Scandal-hit NMC hires heavyweight advisers over debt restructuring

Scandal-hit NMC Health has appointed a string of heavyweight advisers over an emergency restructuring of its debts after its shares were suspended last week.

The Middle East-based private hospital business is in turmoil after the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) launched an investigation into its finances on Thursday.

NMC said it had hired investment bank Moelis & Co as an independent financial adviser, PwC to advise on operational issues and Allen & Overy as its legal adviser.

Shares in the company had plummeted since December after short-seller Muddy Waters questioned the validity of its financial statements.

Last week, NMC said it asked for the FCA to suspend its shares after an independent investigation found unreported debt that had not been approved by the board or reflected in its official balance sheet.

The FTSE 100 firm said it is now “fully focused on safeguarding operational liquidity to continue funding existing operations throughout its various subsidiaries”.

The company added that it is asking for continued support and “an informal standstill” in relation to existing contracts with lenders in order to stabilise the company’s financing.

It added that major shareholders Khaleefa Butti Omair Al Muhairi, Saeed Mohamed Butti Mohamed Khalfan Al Qebaisi and Bavaguthu Raghuram Shetty last week disclosed that they hold less than 30% of the company’s share capital.

NMC said it has a lending facility relating to an original commitment of two billion US dollars (£1.56 billion) as well as other facilities.

On Sunday, The Financial Times reported that staff at some NMC facilities complained that they have yet to receive their February salaries.