The UAE-based NMC's board has asked its joint non-executive chairman Dr B R Shetty and vice-chairman Khaleefa Butti Al Muhairi to absent themselves from board meetings while their shareholdings in the company are reviewed.
The company announced that it has been informed by Dr Shetty that he and his advisers are in the process of carrying out a legal review in order to verify the total interests of Dr Shetty, his associated family members and his associated family holding companies in the ordinary shares of the company.
The review also has implications for the holdings and interests of Saeed Mohamed Butti Mohamed Khalfan Al Qebaisi and Al Muhairi, it said.
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.
Dr Shetty owns 19.22 per cent stake as of May last year, while NMC vice-chair Muhairi and Qebaisi owned 15.82 per cent and 7.66 per cent, respectively, as of January 28, according to Refinitiv data.
The board has asked Dr Shetty and 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 said.
Dr Shetty and Al Muhairi have informed the company that they remain supportive and long-term investors in the company.
The company’s operations continue to perform strongly, and the company expects to report full-year 2019 results in-line with management’s expectations, it said.
The board has also repeated its request for clarity from each of the shareholders in relation to the number of shares owned by them which are pledged, otherwise used as security in any form of financial instrument or are subject to other arrangements under which third parties (eg banks, financial institutions etc.) have the ability to sell those shares without prior approval from the respective shareholder, it said.
NMC Health had on Monday said it had received two preliminary approaches from private equity firms.
The offers from US-based KKR and GK Investment for the UAE-based healthcare group sent its shares up 11 per cent in early deals and came weeks after it faced a short-selling attack from Muddy Waters. NMC said no discussion has taken place on the terms of any potential offer.
The latest disclosures came at a time when NMC shares were “shorted” by Muddy Waters in December, which alleged that the company manipulated its balance-sheet and inflated the prices of assets it purchased. “It was a clever move to announce this even though at a very early stage,” a trader said, adding this would give the shares some respite. - TradeArabia News Service