NMC Health of Abu Dhabi Approaches Al Noor About Counteroffer

  • U.A.E health-care provider Al Noor confirms possible bid
  • Potential deal would challenge tie-up proposal from Mediclinic

NMC Health Plc, a United Arab Emirates health-care company, made an approach to Al Noor Hospitals Group Plc about a possible offer that would challenge an earlier proposal by South Africa’s Mediclinic International Ltd.

NMC Health, the first Abu Dhabi-based company to list on the premium segment of the London Stock Exchange, has until Nov. 6 to make a firm offer, Al Noor, which is also based in Abu Dhabi, said in a statement on Friday. Bloomberg News earlier reported the approach. Al Noor is leaning toward accepting the Mediclinic proposal, according to a person familiar with the matter, who asked not to be identified as the company’s deliberations are private.

Al Noor shares reversed losses and advanced 1.9 percent to 998.5 pence as of 2:43 p.m. in London, valuing the company at 1.2 billion pounds ($1.8 billion). NMC declined 2.4 percent. Mediclinic reversed gains, and traded 2.2 percent lower at 117 rand as of 3:41 p.m. in Johannesburg, valuing the company at 115 billion rand ($8.6 billion).

Al Noor and Johannesburg-based Mediclinic are in talks about a tie-up that would create the biggest supplier of private care in Dubai and Abu Dhabi with further operations in Europe and Southern Africa. The potential deal between the two private-hospital owners would involve the issue of new Al Noor shares to Mediclinic and be classified as a reverse takeover, Al Noor said in a statement on Monday.

A representative of NMC Health declined to comment on the approach. A spokeswoman for Mediclinic said she wasn’t immediately able to comment.

Both NMC and Al Noor have sold shares in London to tap a wider pool of investors. Al Noor raised 1.27 billion dirhams ($346 million) in the U.K. capital in 2013, while NMC raised 749 million dirhams in 2012. Mediclinic would take a London listing if its acquisition of Al Noor is successful, the company said on Tuesday.

NMC’s biggest investor is Indian entrepreneur and 26 percent shareholder Bavaguthu Raghuram Shetty, who also bought a controlling stake in Travelex Holdings Ltd. last year. NMC owns and operates hospitals in Dubai and owns pharmacies across the U.A.E.

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