Hyflux's Olivia Lum to step down from ST Engineering board due to business commitments

Hyflux executive chairman and group chief executive Olivia Lum will not be seeking re-election at ST Engineering's annual general meeting on April 20.
Hyflux executive chairman and group chief executive Olivia Lum will not be seeking re-election at ST Engineering's annual general meeting on April 20.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Hyflux executive chairman and group chief executive Olivia Lum will retire from the board of Singapore Technologies Engineering (ST Engineering) with effect from April 20.

Ms Lum, 57, is stepping down as independent non-executive director due to business commitments, ST Engineering, a diversified engineering firm, said in an exchange filing on Thursday (March 22).

She was appointed to the role in May 2014 and will not be seeking re-election at ST Engineering's annual general meeting on April 20.

Hyflux, which Ms Lum founded, has been weighed down by delays in asset sales and payments from customers. It reported a net loss of S$116.4 million in 2017, owing to continued weak electricity prices across the Singapore power market.

The water treatment company has been planning to partially divest up to 70 per cent of its unprofitable Tuaspring water desalination and power plant, held on its books at a value of S$1.3 billion.

The company has said that it will divest Tuaspring before it redeems its S$400 million outstanding of 6 per cent perpetual securities, which reach their first call date on April 25. If Hyflux does not redeem the perps at that time, the annual dividend will step up to 8 per cent.

Since October 2016, Hyflux has also been trying to sell the Tianjin Dagang desalination plant in China, which has a book value of S$150 million.

 
 

Hyflux is also looking at spinning off its consumer business, HyfluxShop, through an initial public offering. Hyflux is planning to distribute 70 per cent of the shares in HyfluxShop Holdings to Hyflux's existing shareholders on the basis of one HyfluxShop share for every 10 Hyflux shares held, for free. Hyflux will retain the remaining 30 per cent stake in HyfluxShop.

Ms Lum, who holds a 34.05 per cent stake in Hyflux, has offered to buy up shares of HyfluxShop at 17.83 Singapore cents apiece from existing Hyflux shareholders if they do not wish to keep their HyfluxShop shares.