Hyflux CEO Olivia Lum, board offer to give up company stake to other shareholders

Hyflux CEO Olivia Lum, board offer to give up company stake to other shareholders

The executive chairman of embattled water treatment company Hyflux and its board members are set to distribute their entire stake of shares and securities in the company to all other shareholders. Holders of Hyflux’s perpetual securities and preference shares will be allocated a cash payout of S$27 million and 10.26 per cent of the company’s shares post-restructuring. Eugenia Lim reports.

SINGAPORE: The executive chairman of embattled water treatment company Hyflux and its board members are set to distribute their entire stake of shares and securities in the company to all other shareholders.

In a news release on Saturday (Feb 16), the company said Ms Olivia Lum and its board of directors "intend to contribute their stakes in Hyflux, and all their entitlements as holders of preference shares (PNP) and perpetual capital securities" under the proposed restructuring plan, to be distributed to all other holders.

According to the release, Ms Lum's entire stake is worth 267 million Hyflux shares and securities. Based on Hyflux's latest annual report, this represents 34.05 per cent of the company's ordinary shares as at Mar 14, 2018.

The announcement follows the release of an 18-page reply by Ms Lum to Securities Investors’ Association (Singapore) (SIAS), which on Monday had raised more than 40 questions about, among others, the "large remuneration" she enjoyed amid the company's financial troubles.

Olivia Lum Hyflux
Hyflux CEO Olivia Lum. (File photo: AFP/Tengku Bahar)

In the latest news release, Ms Lum said she started Hyflux some 30 years ago and that the current situation was "not something I ever envisioned nor is it something I ever wanted". 

READ: ‘Independent’ investor-only meeting being planned by SIAS for Hyflux’s retail investors

READ: Hyflux extends deadline for stakeholders to file proofs of claims

"We feel for all our stakeholders, and we are deeply aware of and empathise with your unhappiness. We have tried extremely hard to find ways to improve the terms of the Restructuring Plan for the PNP. I have volunteered to give up receiving any management shares in the Company. 

"I have also undertaken that if this Restructuring Plan is approved, all of the interests of mine and the other Board members in Hyflux will be given solely to this group. In this way, it is my hope that they may reap the future benefits which the Salim-Medco consortium deal can offer them,” Ms Lum said.

Lead independent director, Mr Teo Kiang Kok said: “The entire Board is saddened by Hyflux’s current state of affairs. We share the pain of the holders of preference shares and perpetual securities, and we stand together with Olivia and join her in contributing our stakes in Hyflux to the PNP. 

"We have always appreciated Olivia’s leadership and thank her for offering to give up her entire founding stake in the Company to the PNP.”

Source: CNA/mn

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