- Gulf region focused hospitals group NMC Health said it was requesting a standstill agreement with lenders that would involve them not recognizing any current or future defaults.

The company has been rocked by criticism of its balance sheet by short seller Muddy Waters and confusion over the size of its largest investors' shareholdings.

On Monday, NMC Health said recent announcements indicated that Khaleefa Butti Omair Al Muhairi and Saeed Mohamed Butti Mohamed Khalfan Al Qebaisi now held less than 30% of the company's shares.

'NMC is currently fully focused on safeguarding operational liquidity to continue funding existing operations throughout its various subsidiaries,' the company said.

'In this context, NMC is asking for continued support and an informal standstill in relation to existing facilities from its lenders to achieve an immediate stabilisation of the group's financing.'

'The informal standstill includes a request to lenders not to exercise any rights and remedies that may arise from any current or future defaults under the group's finance documentation.' The company said it had a multi-tranche facility agreement relating to an original commitment of $2bn and certain other facilities, which contained change-of control-provisions.

Those provisions were were triggered if principal shareholders ceased to hold together more than 30% of NMC's shares.

'In the event of a trigger, unutilised commitments are cancelled and outstanding participations become due and payable if so requested by an individual lender,' NMC Health said.

'NMC would also anticipate a reappraisal of its external credit ratings.'

NMC Health also announced that it had appointed Moelis & Company, PwC and Allen & Overyas independent financial adviser, operational adviser and legal adviser, respectively.

Story provided by