UAE businessman BR Shetty resigns from board of NMC Health

Gulf News

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UAE businessman BR Shetty resigns from board of NMC Health
This follows his exclusion from board of directors’ meetings

Dubai: Dr. B.R. Shetty, founder of NMC Health, has resigned from the Board of Directors. This comes after he was excluded from board discussions for possibly misrepresenting his shareholdings in the company.

Shetty stepped down with immediate effect, along with Chief Investment Officer Hani Buttikhi and board member Abdulrahman Basaddiq, the company has said. Last week, NMC removed Shetty from board meetings on concern he may have misstated his stake.

On Friday, the vice-chairman - Khalifa Al Muhairi - had resigned as well.

Speaking to ’Gulf News’, Shetty said his lawyers are reviewing the legal status on his exclusion from board meetings. He added that further steps on the legal side will be taken up once the status is clear.

In a comment, Shetty said: "As you will have seen from recent market disclosures, we have initiated a full legal review of our shareholdings in NMC Health plc in order to provide greater clarity and transparency to the market, as well as to our other stakeholders.

"In order to assist us and expedite the completion of this process, we have engaged third-party legal and financial advisers. We are also in consultation with the appropriate regulatory authorities in the UK.

"During this review process, we will continue to disclose information to the market in as timely a fashion as possible. I have resigned from the Board of Directors of NMC Health plc to allow the Board to fully execute its governance and other responsibilities in as efficient a manner as possible."

The story so far – a timeline of events

On February 10, news broke from NMC Health Plc, the operator of the biggest network of hospitals in the UAE that its chairman, Shetty will be removed from board discussions after he said he may have misreported the size of his stake.

NMC asked Shetty and Khaleefa Al Muhairi to absent themselves from further board discussions until further clarification is reached. Or pending a Board of Directors’ decision about their ongoing roles at the company.

The move came after two of Saeed Bin Butti and Khalifa Al Butti sold stakes worth 375 million pounds ($491 million) at a discount in order to cover debts linked to the shares.

The well-known Abu Dhabi investors - officially known as Saeed Mohamed Al Qebaisi and Khalifa Butti Al Muhairi - "sold" a combined 15 per cent stake in the UAE’s largest private healthcare provider at 12 pounds a share, a discount of a fifth to where the shares were trading on Tuesday.

The company also asked its main shareholders for clarity on whether they have pledged any of their holdings as collateral.

It was also reported that NMC had received buyout offers for 2 billion pounds or more. These approaches were from private equity firms.

On February 14, NMC Health plc, said its vice-chairman resigned after he was excluded from board discussions for possibly misrepresenting his holdings in the company.

Khaleefa Al Butti stepped down with immediate effect, the company said on February 14. On February 17, news came in that Shetty, founder of NMC Health, has resigned from the Board of Directors.

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