Hyflux refutes 'belated allegations' by Indonesian investor group

Hyflux said that it disagrees with "belated allegations" by the investor on several points. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Hyflux rebutted earlier statements made by Salim-Medco consortium SM Investments, in a filing to the Singapore Exchange on Saturday night (March 30).

The troubled water treatment firm said that it did not withhold material information from the Indonesian white knight, and that despite queries posed by the company, SM Investments had not explained how any of the information it has sought to rely on would necessitate a revision of its assessment of the working capital needs of the company.

Hyflux also said that SM Investments, in objecting to the global cash settlement figure of $272 million under the schemes for the first time on 7 March 2019, had sought to rely on information it had been provided more than two months ago on 3 January 2019.

The water treatment firm said that it disagrees with "belated allegations" by the investor on several points.

Among those include statements by SM Investments that the allocation set out in the schemes of arrangements proposed by Hyflux is not agreed and hence do not satisfy the conditions of the restructuring agreement.

Hyflux said that the company and the investor had agreed on the economic parameters, including the aggregate cash allocation of the investor's investment, for the settlement of the stipulated financial obligations under the restructuring agreement prior to the publication of the schemes on 16 February 2019.

The firm also said that it disagrees with SM Investments' previous statements concerning "new material information" of which it allegedly "recently become aware" and that it should have been "disclosed earlier".

Hyflux said that the bulk of the information which SM Investments seeks to reply on to renegotiate the agreed economic terms was provided to them on 3 January 2019, while the first time that it stated that it did not agree with the terms was in a letter dated 7 March 2019.

The company said that it was "surprised by this sudden position" taken by SM Investments.

On Saturday, more than 100 retail investors of Hyflux perpetual securities and preference shareholders held a protest at Hong Lim Park against the company's restructuring plan and recent developments involving the water treatment firm.

Hyflux's restructuring plan, which will be put to a vote by creditors on April 5, was denounced by some protesters at the rally as a "beggar deal".

However, if SM Investments does not step up and Tuaspring's defaults are not cured by April 30, the Public Utilities Board has the right to take the Tuaspring desalination plant for zero dollars.

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