BR Shetty plans to return to UAE 'imminently' to support authorities on NMC probe

'I have complete faith in the justice system of the UAE', Mr Shetty says

ABU DHABI - UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - 22JUNE2016 - Dr. B.R Shetty the Indian billionaire and head of NMC talks about his relationship with Late Sheikh Zayed at his office in Abu Dhabi. Ravindranath K / The National (to go with Shareena AlNuwais story for News)
ID: 69483 *** Local Caption ***  RK2206-ShettyandZayed10.jpg

BR Shetty, the founder of NMC Health and Finablr, plans an imminent return to the UAE to help authorities with investigations into his companies.

“I have complete faith in the justice system of the UAE and look forward to the perpetrators of the fraud facing justice,” the founder of NMC Health said in a statement on Saturday.

Mr Shetty said he is returning to the UAE to support “all relevant bodies to correct any injustice done to the companies, their employees, shareholders and other stakeholders and help find solutions to outstanding matters”.

NMC Health was founded by Mr Shetty in 1975 and grew from a single hospital into the UAE’s biggest privately-owned healthcare operator.

The company was listed on the London Stock Exchange in 2012 and was valued at £8.58 billion ($11.32bn) at its peak but was put into administration in April after it declared its debts at $6.6bn, materially higher than the $2.1bn previously stated in its accounts.

NMC's biggest lender, ADCB, initiated criminal legal proceedings with the attorney general in Abu Dhabi against Mr Shetty and a number of other individuals. A worldwide freezing order on the businessman's assets has also been issued by the DIFC Courts following a claim filed by Credit Europe Bank.

Mr Shetty said he travelled to India in February to be with his ailing brother who passed away at the end of March.

"While I was in India, our investigations started to unravel details of the fraud in NMC Health, Finablr and some private companies owned by my family,” he said of his own investigation into the alleged fraud at his firms.

"I said at the time that I intended to return to the UAE and, having filed a criminal complaint against the suspected perpetrators of the fraud in India, I am planning my imminent return to the UAE as promised," he said.

The fraud has “regrettably created huge challenges for the companies, causing great hardship for employees, disruptions to suppliers, and losses to shareholders including myself and creditors”.

Last month, Mr Shetty submitted a written complaint to the Indian agencies including the Central Bureau of Investigation, requesting a probe into the alleged embezzlement, corruption and laundering of company funds by his former chief executives Prasanth Manghat and his brother Promoth Manghat.

Mr Shetty also named other individuals and institutions in his complaint seeking criminal action against them, according to the complaint letter seen by The National.

In September, administrators were appointed to handle the UAE operations of NMC Healthcare, five months after its parent company NMC Health was placed into administration in the UK.

The move will allow the company to raise funds and pay the salaries of its employees.

Richard Fleming and Ben Cairns of Alvarez & Marsal were appointed as joint administrators to a group of 36 trading entities in the country following a hearing in the Abu Dhabi Global Markets Courts. The appointment allows for a financial restructuring that will see $325 million in additional funding provided to the businesses. The appointment does not apply to any of NMC Healthcare’s operating businesses outside the UAE.

More than 80 major local, regional and international financial institutions have extended credit to NMC.