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Hyflux gets offer from new investor looking to buy out about S$1.8b of its debts

Hyflux gets offer from new investor looking to buy out about S$1.8b of its debts

Picture of a Hyflux sign. (Photo: Jeremy Long)

SINGAPORE: A new investor called Aqua Munda has made an offer to purchase about S$1.8 billion worth of Hyflux’s debts, the embattled water treatment firm said in a filing to the Singapore Exchange on Tuesday (Dec 17) night.

These debts include those owned by holders of Hyflux’s 4.25 per cent notes due in 2018, the 4.6 per cent notes and 4.2 per cent notes due this year, as well as the unsecured creditors of the company and three of its subsidiaries.

The total principal amount of these debts is about S$1.8 billion, including S$750 million of contingent liabilities, according to an invitation notice from Aqua Munda that was released alongside Hyflux's filing.

Contingent liabilities are those that may occur in the future, depending on the outcome of an uncertain event.

READ: Our coverage of the Hyflux saga

The invitation for eligible creditors to tender their offers will open at 9am on Dec 30 until 5pm on Jan 10 “unless extended or earlier terminated”.

An invitation memorandum setting out the terms and conditions will be issued by Dec 27.

Aqua Munda’s invitation notice added: “An eligible creditor may offer to sell, but only on the terms and subject to the conditions set out in the invitation memorandum.

“The investor shall, at its sole and absolute discretion, determine which of the tendered offers to accept and shall not be bound to give any grounds for the acceptance or rejection of any tendered offer.”

There was little information about the new investor in Tuesday’s announcements, though Aqua Munda said it will “in due course provide further information in relation to the proof of funds”.

A search on the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority's website showed Aqua Munda with a registered address at the Ocean Financial Centre along Collyer Quay and involved in the "manufacture of water treatment, waste treatment, and oilfield chemicals".

Hyflux, in its bourse filing, said it will make the appropriate announcements as and when there are any further material developments on this matter.

Commenting on the latest offer, OCBC Credit Research said it has "little credence ... at this stage" and raises more questions than answers.

In a note issued on Wednesday, the analysts cited various reasons, such as a relatively tight deadline and conditions in the invitation notice that stated the investor can shorten, amend or withdraw the invitation at its discretion.

READ: ‘Uneven’ Hyflux-Utico deal to see huge losses for some retail investors, say experts

The home-grown water treatment firm, which sought court protection for debt reorganisation in May 2018, confirmed a S$400 million restructuring deal with United Arab Emirates utility company Utico last month.

It also had its moratorium extended by another two months until the end of January 2020.

Source: CNA/sk


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