NMC Health's administrators sell foreign fertility businesses for €430m

Luarmia and Boston businesses sold to Europe's largest private hospitals operator Fresnius Helios


NMC Medical Centre, Sharqan, Sharjah

(Photo: Reem Mohammed/The National)

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The administrators of the UAE's biggest privately-owned healthcare group, NMC Health, agreed to sell two overseas fertility clinic businesses for a combined €430 million ($525.7m).

The Eugin Group, comprising Spain's Luarmia group of fertility clinics and US-based Boston IVF, is being sold to Germany's Fresnius Helios. The deal is expected to be completed by the first half of next year.

“Earlier this year, we made the strategic decision to focus our resources on our core Middle Eastern assets and this was the key driver behind the decision to pursue a sale of Eugin Group," NMC Healthcare chief executive Michael Davis said. “The sale process was highly competitive, which is testament to the strength of Eugin Group’s offer through Luarmia and Boston IVF. We are delighted to have sold to such an established, international healthcare company in Fresenius Helios."

NMC Health was placed into administration in April this year following the discovery of more than $4 billion worth of previously undeclared debts at the group, which was founded by BR Shetty in 1975.

Administrators set out a three-year turnaround plan in August that focuses its resources on its businesses in the UAE and Oman.

Luarmia, Boston IVF and UK-based Aspen Healthcare were among the units deemed to be non-core that could be sold to pay off debts or fund ongoing operations.

Advisers also told lenders in October that they anticipate either a sale or a lender-led restructuring to be concluded by April next year. They also said an investigation report into missing money from the company will be concluded by the end of the year and a litigation strategy recommended to recover assets.

Luarmia has a group of 40 clinics in Europe and Latin America that perform about 25,000 cycles of treatment each year. It was bought by NMC in 2015. Boston IVF was bought in 2018 and has 25 clinics performing 10,000 cycles of treatment per year in the US.

Fresnius Helios is Europe's largest operator of private hospitals, with 100,000 employees and sales of €9.2bn last year.

Selling the IVF clinics "marks another important step towards a successful restructuring for NMC", said Richard Fleming, NMC Health's joint administrator and managing director of Alvarez & Marsal Europe.

"The underlying business and financial performance of NMC Healthcare is strong and it continues to be a key operator in the UAE’s healthcare market. We are optimistic about the future of NMC as we head into 2021.”