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Feb 24 (Reuters) - NMC Health founder BR Shetty has pledged 7 million of the company’s shares as security for debt, his holding company said on Monday, adding that the Indian billionaire has a 9.81% interest in the UAE healthcare group.
Shetty resigned last week, months after the UAE healthcare group was thrown into turmoil by doubts over its finances.
NMC is the largest private healthcare company in the United Arab Emirates and operates a network of clinics and hospitals, specialised maternity and fertility clinics, and long-term care homes and hospitals across 19 countries.
A bruising short-selling attack by Muddy Waters launched two months ago has seen the company’s market value fall to 1.6 billion pounds ($2.1 billion), a far cry from its peak value of about 8.4 billion pounds in August 2018.
Here is a timeline of events leading up to Monday’s announcement:
Bavaguthu Raghuram (BR) Shetty establishes New Medical Centre (NMC), the first private healthcare facility in UAE.
NMC becomes the first company from Abu Dhabi to join here the London Stock Exchange.
NMC bids for regional rival Al Noor Hospitals Group, sparking a race with South Africa’s Mediclinic, before eventually pulling out over valuation concerns.
NMC is promoted to the blue chip FTSE 100 index.
NMC raises $2 billion for general corporate purposes and for the refinancing of existing debt, sources say here
NMC guides for double-digit revenue and core earnings growth in 2020.
U.S. short-selling firm Muddy Waters, founded by American Carson Block, acquires a short position in NMC, criticising the healthcare group’s financial statements and wiping a third off the value of the company’s share price.
NMC stands by its forecasts for 2019 and 2020 and announces a share buyback.
NMC calls the Muddy Waters report criticising the healthcare group’s financial statements “false and misleading”.
NMC calls for an independent review of its finances.
Two major shareholders launch a discounted share sale in NMC worth 375 million pounds.
Independent review committee hires FBI ex-boss Louis Freeh.
NMC says 2019 trading is in line with expectations.
NMC discloses preliminary buyout approaches from private equity firms KKR and GK Investment, and says co-chair and founder Shetty had stepped back from its board after informing the group of potentially inaccurate reporting of his holdings.
KKR says it does not intend to make an offer for NMC, but Italian-backed GKSD Investment Holding confirms it could bid.
S&P places NMC on creditwatch negative due to governance deficiencies.
Moody’s places ratings under review for downgrade.
NMC says its vice chairman is stepping down from the board as it tries to unravel details of the holdings of its top investors.
BR Shetty resigns as joint non-executive chairman, leaving UK businessman HJ Mark Tompkins as sole chairman.
NMC says it was ‘disappointed’ with the disclosures made by Shetty and that it urgently sought clarity on his shareholding arrangements and holdings in the company.
BR Shetty has hired investment firm Houlihan Lokey to advise on strategic options for its portfolio and debt restructuring, a source familiar with the matter says.
Shetty enters funded equity collar transaction with Goldman Sachs, under which over 7 million NMC shares were pledged as security for debt.
Source: Company website, reports, Refinitiv data ($1 = 0.7669 pounds) (Reporting by Noor Zainab Hussain and Pushkala Aripaka in Bengaluru; Editing by Jan Harvey and Susan Fenton)