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Meeting with Utico yielded 'no conclusive numbers' or binding agreement: Hyflux

SINGAPORE: In another clarification issued towards its new suitor from the United Arab Emirates, Hyflux said on Tuesday (May 28) that a recent meeting it had with Utico did not entail any binding agreements or conclusive numbers on how much its investors will be getting.

The rebuttal, issued in a bourse filing, came after a weekend statement from Utico.

In that statement, the UAE utility firm said it met with Hyflux’s financial and legal advisors, alongside the Securities Investors Association Singapore (SIAS) and others last week, and had proposed a “part cash redemption” to the 34,000 retail investors of Hyflux's perpetual securities and preference shares. 

To that, Hyflux, which is racing against the clock to find new funds, clarified that the meeting with Utico was focused “on high-level views which entailed no conclusive numbers or percentages, or indeed any binding agreement, whether in respect of the (perpetual securities and preference shareholders) or any other stakeholder groups”.

It added: “Further, the company and its advisors understand that the statements … are exploratory in nature and are approaches currently contemplated by Utico."

Hyflux said it remains in talks with several potential investors. 

Apart from Utico, it has previously disclosed global multi-strategy investment fund Oyster Bay Fund and an unnamed desalination firm as its suitors.

Earlier this month, the embattled water treatment firm issued a clarification to Utico after the latter said it had submitted a binding investment offer. Hyflux said all it had was a “draft term sheet”. 

Referring to its previous response, Hyflux reiterated on Tuesday that it “had not accepted or entered into the term sheet received” from Utico. 

“This position has not changed," it added.

This latest confusion surrounding the state of affairs between Hyflux and Utico comes before a High Court hearing on Wednesday. 

Hyflux's court-sanctioned debt moratorium, which has already been extended thrice, will end on Wednesday.

Source: CNA/sk


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