Beleaguered hospital operator NMC Health said an investigation into its finances had uncovered evidence indicating suspected fraud in some of its previous financial activities.
NMC Health launched an external review into allegations over its finances after coming under attack from US short-seller Muddy Waters in December.
In an update to the stock exchange this morning, NMC said the investigation had “discovered evidence leading to suspected fraudulent behaviour in relation to some elements of NMC’s previous financial activities”.
The company, which last month suspended trading in its shares, said it was “fully committed to investigating these activities” and had notified the relevant authorities in the UK and the UAE, where NMC is based.
NMC Health denied any wrongdoing in the wake of the short attack, and launched a review into the allegations led by former FBI director Louis Freeh.
Founder BR Shetty stepped down from the company’s board last month following uncertainty over the size of his stake in the NMC, which has since fired its chief executive and placed its finance boss on extended sick leave.
Earlier this week, NMC Health said it had identified an additional $2.7bn (£2.1bn) of debt, bringing the group’s total to around $5bn.
The Financial Conduct Authority, which last month launched an investigation into NMC, declined to comment on the update.
Shetty’s financial woes appear to be spreading to other companies in his portfolio, with payments firm Finablr announcing an internal probe into its financial situation.
Shares in FTSE 250 firm Finablr, also founded by Shetty, plunged as much as 63 per cent following news of the investigation this morning.
News of the probe comes as Finablr tackles a liquidity squeeze in the wake of a ransomware attack and coronavirus-related disruptions to its business.
Finablr said it was taking urgent steps to assess its current liquidity and cash flow situation.
“These factors place significant constraints on the company’s access to the daily liquidity the company needs to manage its business effectively and its ability to negotiate longer term financing,” said Finablr.
Finablr is recovering from a ransomware attack late last year which took all its systems offline, and warned this morning that travel restrictions related to the coronavirus pandemic was hitting demand for its foreign exchange business.