Hyflux says only one of two pre-approved parties for Tuaspring has put in bid; now being assessed

Hyflux said it remains open to considering various opportunities. PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO

SINGAPORE - Embattled water treatment firm Hyflux Group said on Friday (Oct 12) that only one of two parties approved by the regulatory authorities has put in a bid for its Tuaspring water and power project, and that the bid is being assessed.

Hyflux, which is seeking to restructure its debt, said that it could not provide further details because of confidentiality requirements and to protect the company's interests in ongoing negotiations.

The new information came just over a week after Bloomberg reported that Keppel Corp and Sembcorp Industries were the only parties pre-approved by Singapore's Public Utilities Board as potential buyers of Tuaspring, and that of the two, only Sembcorp had submitted a final bid. In a previous response, Hyflux did not comment on the pre-approval or the existence of a bid.

Hyflux reiterated that it remains in separate but parallel talks about strategic investments in the overall business, with or without Tuaspring.

Hyflux said it has not committed itself to any particular option or any of the proposals received at this point in time, and remains open to considering various opportunities. Any proposals received are also subject to approval by the relevant authorities where required.

The sale of Tuaspring, which includes South-east Asia's largest desalination plant, is a key component in Hyflux's plans to obtain capital and restructure its debts. Bloomberg, citing sources, said Sembcorp's offer was below Tuaspring's book value and will not be enough to fully pay back loans to the project's main creditor, Maybank.

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