NMC Health gets takeover approaches from KKR, GK Investment | 10 February 2020

It’s getting muddier for NMC Health

The company said Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. and GK Investment made "highly preliminary" approaches, following a report in the Mail on Sunday that said KKR held talks with NMC in recent weeks about a 2 billion-pound ($2.6 billion) takeover but couldn't agree on the price.

However, the statement added that the "announcement does not amount to a firm intention to make an offer and accordingly there can be no certainty that an offer will made, nor as to the terms on which any offer will be made".

GKSD Investment Holding of Italy confirmed on Tuesday that it was "in the preliminary stages of considering" an offer for NMC as shares of the embattled healthcare group extended losses to touch session lows. The stock fell back 14pc to 797p on Tuesday morning after KKR said it was not interested - erasing much of this gain. L.P. and GK Investment Holding Group SA regarding possible offers for the Company.

Monday's disclosures compound the turmoil surrounding NMC, which has been the target of short seller Muddy Waters Capital LLC since December.

The firm was this week plunged into fresh chaos after admitting it does not know how many shares are owned by founder Bavaguthu Raghuram Shetty, and that the market may have been misled over the size of his stake.

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It also said its founder and chairman, the Indian billionaire BR Shetty, is conducting a legal review into potential historical inaccuracies relating to his own stake in the firm and those of three other major shareholders. The shareholdings of two of NMC's other top four investors could also be affected.

'The Board has asked Dr. B. R. Shetty and Mr Khaleefa Butti Omair Yousif Ahmed Al Muhairi to absent themselves from further board discussions until clarification of these matters and pending a board decision about their ongoing roles as directors of the company, ' it continued.

The crisis - which has sparked inquiries from the Financial Conduct Authority watchdog - reinforces his suspicion that NMC has debt which has not been publicly disclosed.

With reports that NMC's founder is mulling a return and the company mentioning names of some of the private equity interest that has been said to be circling, Muddy Waters founder Carson Block issued a dismissive response.

NMC, which dismissed Muddy Waters's previous comments as "baseless", did not respond to a request for comment.

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