Hyflux gets two more months of extension on debt moratorium, Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

Hyflux gets two more months of extension on debt moratorium

This article is more than 12 months old

Water treatment firm still in discussions with several investors

The High Court yesterday allowed debt-ridden water treatment firm Hyflux two more months of reprieve from their creditors - until Aug 2 - as the company continues to work with several investors to nail down a new restructuring plan.

Hyflux had asked for a four-month extension on its debt moratorium.

It said it is in discussions with other potential investors, in addition to UAE utility Utico for a $400 million investment, Mauritius-based investment fund Oyster Bay Fund for up to $500 million, and a third investor said to be a big desalination plant company.

The new potential investors include a large desalination company that has issued a letter of interest for certain assets in Algeria, Oman, Middle East and North Africa.

Four more companies are also in discussions on a potential investment.

These include a large Asian power sector player looking to merge with Hyflux group; a fund whose corporate strategy includes turning around distressed firms; a major Asia-based nuclear and civil engineering contractor and a major waste treatment player.

The company said it hopes to select an investor by middle of next month.

Utico has informed Hyflux that they want a binding agreement signed by June 17, while Oyster Bay is in advanced talks on a binding agreement.

While Justice Aedit Abdullah said he was "concerned about giving a four-month (extension) at a go", he told Hyflux to "assure the investors I will be amenable, if progress continues to be made, to a further two-month extension" beyond Aug 2.

"As I have indicated previously, the position now is different from when the application (for moratorium) was first made.

"Therefore any extensions will be much more controlled," he added.

The order was passed as an earlier court-sanctioned protection from creditors expired yesterday.

Mr Eddee Ng, senior partner at Tan Kok Quan Partnership, who represents a group of seven banks that are collectively owed $648.7 million, supported only a one-month extension as "cash is running low and time is running short.

"So there's every reason to make sure timing is controlled".

But Mr Edward Tiong of Allen & Gledhill, who represents creditor DBS, supported a four-month extension.