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Hospital operator NMC Health asks lenders for leniency

Hospital operator NMC Health asks lenders for leniency

NMC’s shares have been in free-fall since a December report by Muddy Waters Capital LLC

NMC Healthcare

Troubled hospital operator NMC Health Plc asked lenders for an informal standstill on its debt agreements as it tries to safeguard enough cash to keep running.

“NMC is currently fully focused on safeguarding operational liquidity,” the company said on Monday. “The informal standstill includes a request to lenders not to exercise any rights and remedies that may arise from any current or future defaults.”

The company said it hired investment bank Moelis & Co., consultant PwC and the law firm Allen & Overy. Moelis will help NMC in discussions with lenders while PwC will assist with liquidity management, it said.

Mubadala Investment Co., a $229bn wealth fund, is considering a potential investment in the United Arab Emirates’ largest private health-care provider as the FTSE 100 company faces an investigation by the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority over allegations of fraud, Bloomberg reported on Saturday, citing people with knowledge of the matter.

The government is keen to support NMC – whose shares have been in free-fall since a December report by Muddy Waters Capital LLC – to prevent further damage to the emirate’s image as a key regional hub for business, some of the people said, asking not to be identified because the talks are private.

NMC is also strategic to the region’s nascent health-care industry, they said.

Separately, Moody’s Investors Service downgraded NMC’s debt rating, saying the company no longer has reliable access to
funding. It plans to withdraw the ratings after cutting them to Caa1 from Ba2 because it no longer considers the company’s
audited financial statements to be reliable.

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