Hyflux, Utico still in negotiations to ink a definitive restructuring agreement: Hyflux lawyer

Hyflux, Utico still in negotiations to ink a definitive restructuring agreement: Hyflux lawyer

Headquarters of Hyflux Singapore on Bendemeer Road
The headquarters of Singapore water treatment firm Hyflux on Bendemeer Road. (Photo: Jeremy Long)

SINGAPORE: Embattled water treatment firm Hyflux and United Arab Emirates utility firm Utico are still in negotiations to ink a definitive restructuring agreement, Hyflux lawyer Manoj Sandrasegara of WongPartnership told CNA on Monday (Nov 4).

Mr Manoj said both firms were engaged in conference calls on the afternoon of Oct 31 and the night of Nov 3.

This comes after Utico gave Hyflux until 5pm on Nov 1 to accept the terms in Utico’s latest draft of a definitive restructuring agreement – an update the Singapore High Court was told during a case management conference on Thursday (Oct 31).

Mr Manoj told the court last Thursday that some of the terms in the agreement are not "commercially acceptable" to Hyflux and its stakeholders, adding that Hyflux would engage Utico to further extend the Friday deadline so that negotiations can be continued.

READ: From making waves to drowning in red ink: Hyflux, Tuaspring and how a business giant came undone

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.

The multi-million dollar deal with Utico is Hyflux’s second shot at a rescue plan after its S$530 million deal with Indonesia's SM Investments was called off in April.

Due to that fallout, both Hyflux and SM Investments are making a grab for the S$38.9 million deposit placed in escrow.

READ: Utico says will support Hyflux's moratorium extension if company stops 'value leakage'

For now, Hyflux’s debt moratorium is slated to expire on Dec 2, but Justice Aedit Abdullah stressed during the case management conference last Thursday that the moratorium cannot be extended unless there is a "concrete proposal on the table".

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

READ: Our coverage of the Hyflux saga

Source: CNA/aj

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