HBI Deals+Insights / News

Reasons to be cheerful

“If NMC can turn it around, anyone can”. That was the cheery comment of a formerly sceptical GCC-based source watching the oft-berated group rise phoenix-like from the ashes. For those still diligently beavering away at NMC there is much to be cheerful about with the group hitting the headlines for the right reasons for the first time in a long while. Elsewhere too, HBI finds reasons to be cheerful. Have we turned a corner?

This week, NMC CEO Michael Davis admits candidly his group was “on the brink of near-total collapse”. Twelve months ago, with lawsuits bandied and fire sales awaited, the odds of it surviving in its current form looked slim. But with astute stewardship from its administrators and the acquiescence of its creditors (left, to be fair, very little choice), the group now finds itself well ahead of its business plan and enjoying good rolling 12-month EBITDA and EBITDA margins. Those hoping to profit from NMC’s demise aside, given its key position in the healthcare markets it plays in this is reason to be cheerful – and a vote to end its administration in sight to boot.

Elsewhere in this week’s edition, we see new money for therapy as waves of pandemic-related mental health issues come to the fore. The cause prompting this belated recognition of the need for greater funding is to be lamented. You don’t want to have a crisis for vital funding to be found, but at least it is being found. And if the decisions being made today leave a lasting legacy of better funding for those needing psychotherapy and other mental health treatments, we’re happy to cheer that too.

Also this week, we write about the signs that, on a local level, there is growing recognition that funding must be found to cut into the waiting lists that have built up during Covid. Problems have been recognised. Covid is, generally, waning. And money is being found.

“Victories” like these, coupled with the seemingly unprecedented wave of M&A sweeping across many sectors, have many investors and operators buzzing at the prospect of better times ahead. With most of us having endured a difficult last 18 months, we think you’ll agree this feels long overdue.

We would welcome your thoughts on this story. Email your views to David Farbrother or call 0207 183 3779.