Billionaire takes stake in hospital operator NMC Health
A New Zealand billionaire has quietly built up a significant stake in NMC Health in recent days, raising speculation he could be plotting an audacious takeover for the embattled FTSE 100 hospitals group.
Richard Chandler’s Clermont Group amassed a 2.7 per cent shareholding in NMC Health last week as the crisis over the company’s finances deepened.
NMC has come under attack from infamous short-seller Muddy Waters, founded by Carson Block, who accused it of manipulating its balance sheet in December.
Analysts speculate that NMC may soon be the subject of a take-over bid
Since then, a scandal has broken out over the complex share dealings of NMC’s founder, Indian-born tycoon BR Shetty, culminating in his departure from the board last week as NMC sought answers from him.
Chandler, who is also a vocal advocate of good corporate governance practices, could use his stake to push for improvements at NMC.
Clermont Group is an investment firm based in Singapore and run by Chandler, the brother of Christopher Chandler, the billionaire behind the London Brexit-backing think-tank The Legatum Institute.
The Chandlers are thought to be among the wealthiest businessmen from New Zealand.
The stakebuilding move could stoke talk that Richard Chandler’s interest in NMC Health goes beyond owning a small stake in the Gulf-based hospitals group as Clermont already owns significant healthcare assets in the Asian region.
Clermont could not be reached for comment.