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Hyflux has until Friday evening to sign restructuring agreement with Utico

SINGAPORE: United Arab Emirates utility firm Utico has given Hyflux until 5pm on Friday (Nov 1) to accept the terms in Utico’s latest draft of a definitive restructuring agreement, the Singapore High Court was told during a case management conference on Thursday.

Failing which, Utico will walk away from the restructuring deal.

WongPartnership lawyer Manoj Sandrasegara, who represents Hyflux, told the court that some of the terms in the agreement are not "commercially acceptable" to Hyflux and its stakeholders.

He elaborated that during a stakeholders meeting convened on Wednesday, stakeholders had said that the latest agreement does not "address their concerns".

For now, embattled water-treatment firm Hyflux will engage Utico to further extend the Friday deadline so that negotiations can be continued, said Mr Manoj.

READ: UAE's Utico confident of securing deal for Singapore's Hyflux

The original proposed rescue package involves Utico taking an 88 per cent stake in Hyflux through a S$300 million equity injection for senior unsecured creditors, as well as a S$100 million shareholder loan.

Mr Manoj also told the High Court that Hyflux will continue to engage potential investors, adding that one potential investor could come forth with a debt restructuring proposal by the end of this week. He did not reveal details about this potential investor.

CNA understands that Hyflux chief executive Olivia Lum is currently overseas, negotiating with potential investors.

Mr Eddee Ng, senior partner at Tan Kok Quan Partnership, who represents a group of seven unsecured banks, said the group is very concerned about the "slow progress of negotiations" and added that the details of the other potential investors thus far have been "hazy, vague and unclear".

During the case management conference, Justice Aedit Abdullah stressed that Hyflux’s debt moratorium, which is slated to expire on Dec 2, cannot be extended unless there is a "concrete proposal on the table" so that there is "prospect of a plan being put forward".

Hyflux will have its next court hearing on Nov 29, which could be brought forward if required.

Source: CNA/hm


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