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NMC Health confirms approaches but ownership waters muddied

The FTSE 100 group also said it had been informed that a legal review has found that major shareholders' stakes have been “incorrectly reported”

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NMC Health PLC (LON:NMC) says it has received two “highly preliminary” approaches about possible offers from US private equity firms, from Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR) and from GK Investment (GKI).

The embattled Middle East hospital owner said neither potential offeror has yet made a proposal and there have been “no discussions as to the terms of any possible offer”. 

Both potential suitors have until 5pm on 9 March to make a firm offer, according to London takeover rules. 

The FTSE 100 group also said it had been informed that a legal review being carried out by founder and joint chairman, Dr Bavaguthu Raghuram Shetty, that the exact size of his shareholdings and those of other major backers Saeed Mohamed Butti Mohamed Khalfan Al Qebaisi and Khaleefa Butti Omair Yousif Ahmed Al Muhairi have been “incorrectly reported historically to the company and the market”.

NMC said the details were still being checked as part of a review by Shetty, who it was reported last week is mulling a return to an “active leadership position”.

Recently Khalifa Butti al-Muhairi and Saeed Mohamed al-Qebaisi together sold £375mln worth of shares in the company to meet margin calls.

This was precipitated by the stock price collapsing in the wake of a short-selling attack from Muddy Waters, with NMC quickly hiring a former US federal judge to look into the allegations.

As well as NMC, Shetty is also the founder and co-chairman of London-listed Finablr, which said on Monday that it had “very recently been made aware of purported arrangements” between Shetty and the pair “which may be relevant to their respective interests in the company’s shares”.

The Travelex owner, which has seen its shares tumble sharply in recent months after a ransomware attack, said a committee of independent directors were reviewing the matter.

NMC shares were up 2% to 719p by Monday afternoon, while Finablr was up 9% to 77.9p.

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