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

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

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

ABU DHABI: United Arab Emirates-based Utico FZC said on Thursday (Aug 29) it was confident a restructuring deal with Singapore's indebted Hyflux Ltd could be reached, after the two sides earlier issued conflicting statements about progress on an agreement.

Utico announced at the start of the week that a deal had been reached in which it would take 88 per cent of Hyflux, but the Singaporean firm said on Wednesday no definitive agreement had been struck although discussions were advanced.

Hyflux, which is under a court-supervised restructuring process, was once considered a national champion running a strategically important water source for the city-state.

READ: Hyflux says definitive agreement not reached with Utico​​​​​​​

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

Utico Chief Executive Richard Menezes told Reuters his company was "confident" of reaching agreement because a deal had the approval of 70 per cent of senior creditors, a majority of perpetual and preference shareholders and Utico's board.

He said the Hyflux board was holding back over issues such as advisors fees, board representation and management oversight.

Once the Hyflux board and court approved the deal, Utico planned to set up a separate entity in Singapore to make the payments due, the CEO said, adding that Utico was committed to a proposed initial public offering (IPO) in two years.

"We can turn the company around and we are there for the long-term," he said, adding Hyflux had valuable intellectual property and assets, and also had management team expertise.

Source: Reuters/nh