UAE’s NMC Health tumbles after major investors sell shares worth $493 million


Reuters, 08-01-2020 20:49:48


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UAE’s NMC Health tumbles after major investors sell shares worth $493 million

The deal, led by NMC’s second- and third-largest shareholders Saeed Al-Qebaisi and Khaleefa Al-Muhairi, was priced at 1,200 pence per share

Investors sold the shares to repay some of their debt and the debt of some corporate entities owned by them

Two major investors in NMC Health have launched a discounted share sale worth $493 million (£375 million), sending its stock down 19 percent weeks after a short-selling attack by US firm Muddy Waters.

The deal, led by NMC’s second- and third-largest shareholders Saeed Al-Qebaisi and Khaleefa Al-Muhairi, was priced at 1,200 pence per share, a bookrunner for the deal said on Wednesday, adding that the sale was oversubscribed.

The price is at a discount of about 20 percent to the company’s last close of 1,494.5 pence on the London Stock Exchange.

The statement also said Al-Qebaisi and Al-Muhairi have sold shares worth about $72 million in payments firm Finablr, which is co-chaired by Bavaguthu Raghuram Shetty, also the founder and co-chairman of NMC.

NMC shares were down 15.8 percent at 1,258.5 pence and Finablr was 19 percent lower at 125.1 pence as of 0856 GMT.

The investors sold the shares to repay some of their debt and the debt of some corporate entities owned by them, the bookrunner said, adding that the move will also remove the pledge on NMC shares under a borrowing agreement with two banks.

Following the transactions, Al-Muhairi will retain a 12.5 percent stake in NMC, while Al-Qebaisi will keep a 4.7 percent holding, according to the statement.

Prior to the sale, Al-Qebaisi held 17.43 percent of NMC shares while Al-Muhairi held 14.69 percent, according to Refinitiv Eikon data.

NMC, the United Arab Emirates’ largest private health care provider, has launched an independent review of its finances after short-seller Muddy Waters questioned the value of its assets and cash balance while announcing its short position.

Earlier this week NMC said the review will initially assess its cash balances as of Dec. 15.

Short selling involves borrowing an asset and selling it with the aim of buying it back at a cheaper price and making a profit.

Muddy Waters, founded by American Carson Block, is known in financial markets for declaring short equity positions on the basis of its in-house research.

Including session losses, shares in NMC, which has denied the allegations, have lost about half of their value since the report was launched.

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