Hyflux applies to extend debt moratorium by 2 more months

Hyflux's applications for the debt moratorium extension will be heard at a court hearing on Sept 30.
Hyflux's applications for the debt moratorium extension will be heard at a court hearing on Sept 30.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Embattled water firm Hyflux and three of its subsidiaries applied to the court on Thursday (Sept 19) for a further two-month extension of their debt moratorium, until November.

The applications for this extension will be heard at a court hearing on Sept 30, when its previous extension will expire, Hyflux said in an exchange filing late on Thursday night.

Last month, the company rebutted an assertion by potential white knight Utico that they had struck a rescue deal. In a statement on Aug 28, Hyflux clarified that a definitive agreement had not been entered into with Utico, pending resolution on "certain final outstanding issues" in the draft definitive agreements.

Aug 26 was the deadline for Hyflux to enter a definitive agreement for Utico's intended investment - a $300 million equity injection and a $100 shareholder loan for 88 per cent of the water firm.

Once a home-grown success story, Hyflux collapsed last year under the weight of a debt pile of nearly S$3 billion, forcing it to seek court protection and embark on a search for a rescuer that has taken many twists and turns. Its flagship Tuaspring desalination plant was taken over in May this year by national water agency PUB.

About 34,000 small investors who bought the company's perpetual securities and preference shares are owed a total of $900 million. Utico chief executive Richard Menezes said in May that the firm was offering these investors "part cash redemption and also a hope for full redemption with a plan and exit option".