NMC Health provide statement on Possible Offer

A United States short-selling specialist laughed off the possibility the news from embattled hospital operator NMC Health PLC (LON:NMC) that it had received two preliminary bid approaches.

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.

NMC revealed that Mr Shetty is conducting a legal review of a web of share pledges and other loan arrangements that could mean his shareholding is substantially less than previously disclosed.

NMC shares have fallen more than 70 per cent since the Muddy Waters report came to light, giving the company a market value of less than 1.5bn pounds ($1.9bn).

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".

US short-selling firm Muddy Waters, founded by American Carson Block, acquires a short position in NMC, criticizing the healthcare group's financial statements and wiping a third off the value of the company's share price.

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On Feb. 4, Muddy Waters published a tweet asking if NMC's top shareholders aren't selling shares because of margin calls. "As for the notion that NMC might receive private equity bids, it's hard for us to believe they would survive due diligence".

United States global investment firm KKR has said it "has not made a proposal nor discussed with NMC the terms of any possible offer" and 'does not intend to make an offer for NMC, ' as reported in the Financial Times.

This suggests that the holdings and interests of Dr Shetty, Al Qebaisi and Al Muhairi have been incorrectly reported historically to the company and the market, the statement said.

Insufficient disclosure of related-party transactions, manipulation of the balance sheet and inflated asset purchases are some of Muddy Waters's most serious allegations. The company has said the allegations are false and misleading.

Reuters reported https://www.reuters.com/article/us-nmc-health-m-a-exclusive/exclusive-two-groups-one-backed-by-chinas-fosun-bid-for-nmc-health-stake-sources-idUSKCN1VB20R a year ago that NMC was also the target of two groups, one backed by China's Fosun, looking to buy a 40% stake in it.

NMC's margins are "too good to be true" relative to peers, Muddy Waters, which is shorting the company's stock, also said.

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