London’s High Court has placed hospital operator NMC Health into administration on the application of one of its biggest lenders, Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, ADCB said on Thursday.
The joint administrators from turnaround advisory firm Alvarez & Marsal will take immediate control of NMC Health and will work on behalf of all stakeholders, ADCB said in a statement.
The move came following weeks of uncertainty relating to London-listed NMC’s debt levels and undisclosed shareholder dealings.
NMC, UAE’s biggest private hospital group, has seen its stock more than halve in value since December after short-seller Muddy Waters questioned its financial statements.
ADCB, which had $981 million in debt exposure to NMC Health, said the bank and other key creditors had concluded that an administration process is the most suitable route to ensure a rescue and turnaround of NMC Health PLC and its subsidiaries.
Administration is a process designed for a rapid business recovery, distinct from liquidation.
NMC, which recently revised its debt position to $6.6 billion, well above earlier estimates - had warned on Wednesday it was unable to reach agreement with its creditors despite strenuous efforts to address their concerns.
ADCB said it is committed to working closely with the joint administrators, other creditors, stakeholders and regulators to ensure investigations into NMC Health are exhaustive.
The bank has committed to extend short-term working capital facilities to the company when the joint administrators commence their work, it said.