UAE: GKSD drops NMC Health offer

NMC Health Al Zahra Hospital, Sharjah

After Italian private hospital group Gruppo San Donato (GSD) withdrew plans to buy NMC Health last night, several players remain in the ring for the largest healthcare company in the UAE.

GKSD Investment, which is backed by sponsors of GSD, said in a statement that it does not intend to make a firm offer for NMC. A fig leaf came at the end: ‘GSD will maintain its offer of operational support to NMC to assist the NMC business in its continued delivery of a high standard of healthcare in the EMEA region.’

On 10 February, the struggling private healthcare operator announced that it had received ‘highly preliminary approaches’ from US investment firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts and GKSD Investment.

The following day, KKR denied it had made an offer.

With the two international majors pulling out, reports in local newspapers suggest that NMC has received several serious bids to buy the company.

Bidders include Abu Dhabi investment powerhouse Mubadala and Dubai property development company Damac.

According to London Stock Exchange rules, there’s a 28-day window for official bids to be made after a listed company first announces that a bid has been was made.

NMC Health shares on the London Stock Exchange remain suspended.