NMC Health pulls out of the fight for a slice of Al Noor Hospitals

Sarah Spickernell
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Only last month, the company said it was determined to make an offer to its rival
Only last month, the company said it was determined to make an offer to its rival (Source: Getty)
MC Health has revealed it won't be making a formal offer to London-listed firm Al Noor Hospitals.

The private healthcare company said that after a “thorough assessment”, it had decided that a take-over of its Dubai-based rival would “not deliver sufficient returns or shareholder value”.

The news comes just a month after NMC expressed its determination to enter a deal with Al Noor despite facing stiff competition from other companies with a similar ambition.

On 14 October, Al Noor and South Africa's Mediclinic both received support from their respective boards to join forces and create a company with an annual revenue of $4bn. The proposed firm, which would list on the London Stock Exchange and call itself Mediclinic International, would be the largest healthcare provider in the UAE and the third largest in South Africa.

Having already approached Al Noor with its own offer that amounted to little success, NMC reacted to the news at the time by saying it “confirmed” its belief in the competitiveness of its initial possible offer, and that a combination would have "the strongest strategic and financial rationale for all stakeholders".

But having reflected on its interest in Al Noor, and in light of the news that privately-owned VPS Healthcare had also expressed interest in purchasing it, NMC has completely changed its tone. In a statement today, it said:

On 9 October , NMC confirmed that it had approached the board of directors of Al Noor regarding a possible cash and share offer for the entire issued and to be issued share capital of Al Noor .NMC now confirms that it does not intend to make an offer for Al Noor.

NMC remains committed to enhancing returns to its shareholders through its focused strategic plan.

Shares in the two companies, which are both listed on the London Stock Exchange, were hardly affected by the news. NMC is closed 0.5 per cent lower at 763 pence, while Al Noor finished the day down 0.1 per cent at 1,157 pence.

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