NMC Health creditors meet next month to discuss 'revised' restructuring proposals

Joint administrators of the UAE healthcare group summoned online meeting of creditors on September 1

Dubai, United Arab Emirates - Reporter: Nick Webster. News. Covid-19/Coronavirus. Check on PCR testing at clinic now people need tests to travel at NMC Royal Hospital in Dubai Investments Park. Saturday, July 4th, 2020. Dubai. Chris Whiteoak / The National
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Creditors of NMC Health are meeting next month to discuss proposals from joint administrators as the financial restructuring of the UAE healthcare group continues.

The September 1 meeting, called by joint administrators Alvarez & Marsal will discuss “revised" proposals and the proposed Deeds of Company Arrangements, or Doca, according to a notice published in The National on Tuesday.

Creditors owed more than $6.4 billion by NMC Health have already agreed to a restructuring of the business, which will lead to $4bn of its debts being wiped in return for equity instruments under a legal process, Alvarez & Marsal said in a June 7 statement.

In an update to lenders in April this year, Alvarez & Marsal said it had received about $6.4bn worth of creditor claims to date, including about $6.3bn from a group of 136 financial creditors.

Administrators have also identified a further $650 million in potential claims from another 10 financial creditors.

Administrators are urging creditors to vote for the Doca plan, which will bring the group's debt pile down to $2.25bn. It involves a mechanism that allows them to exit and generate more funds than the sale of distressed assets may yield.

NMC Health, which grew from a single clinic into the UAE's biggest healthcare provider, ran into trouble after a 2019 report by short seller Muddy Waters accused the company of inflating its assets and understating its debt.

An independent investigation uncovered more than $4.4bn of previously unreported debt, leading to the company being placed into administration in April last year.

In July, BR Shetty, the company’s founder, filed a case in New York courts accusing former directors, two banks and the company’s former auditors of conspiring to “artificially inflate the financials of NMC” and other group companies.

The case by Mr Shetty and his pharmaceutical business, Neopharma, alleges that the eight defendants “conspired to create fictitious invoices for products and supplies purportedly sold by group companies to NMC in order to generate inflated sales and revenue figures for NMC’s financial statements” over a six-year period.

This led to shareholders suffering estimated losses of $10bn as the result of “massive financial fraud”, according to the suit.

Updated: August 10, 2021, 1:38 PM