KBBO appoints restructuring advisers as it takes measures to limit impact of NMC Health

The company says it is seeking a 'fair and balanced outcome' for creditors

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KBBO Group, whose chairman was a significant shareholder in troubled hospital group NMC Health, appointed a team of restructuring advisers to help put together a plan to reorganise its outstanding liabilities to various creditors.

“The group has been challenged by its exposure to NMC [Health] in addition to the Covid-19 outbreak, which has impacted various operations,” KBBO said in a statement on Wednesday.

It said it “responded proactively, taking measures to reduce the impact and ensure the continuity of operations, especially across the healthcare and food businesses given their strategic importance to the national economy.”

KBBO was founded in 2008 and invested in a number of healthcare companies, including NMC Health and Emirates Healthcare. It also invested in the education, food & retail, financial services, information technology and ventures sectors.

The company did not disclose the scale of its debt, but said the objective of the restructuring was to deliver a fair and balanced outcome for all stakeholders.

The company appointed Trussbridge Advisory and PwC Middle East as financial experts. Hadef & Partners and Cleary Gottlieb Steen and Hamilton will advise on the legal aspects of any agreements, which will be worked out under the supervision of the Financial Restructuring Committee (FRC).

The FRC is a body set up in 2018 under the UAE’s bankruptcy law whose members include representatives from the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Economy, the Ministry of Justice, the Central Bank of the UAE, the Securities and Commodities Authority, and the Governments of Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah.

“In light of the current market conditions, we believe the appointment of a team of restructuring advisors and experts is a critical step to facilitate the financial restructuring of the group’s operating companies in a timely and efficient manner,” KBBO chairman Khalifa Bin Butti Al Muhairi said.

Mr Al Muhairi stepped down as vice chairman of NMC Health in February this year.

"The group’s underlying assets remain strong and I am confident that this process will mean the business can return to growth in the near future," Mr Al Muhairi said. "It is our intention to reach a fair and balanced outcome for all stakeholders."