Sias calls for greater transparency from Aqua Munda in its funding, intentions for Hyflux restructuring

Aqua Munda has invited Hyflux's note holders and unsecured creditors to tender offers for their debts to be purchased at a minimum discount of 85 per cent. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - The Securities Investors Association (Singapore) (Sias) is calling for Aqua Munda to disclose its intentions for Hyflux's restructuring process as soon as possible.

In a statement on Monday (Dec 30), Sias president David Gerald also urged the Singapore-registered Aqua Munda to disclose its source of funding and related entities, "in the interest of transparency".

Aqua Munda has invited the embattled water treatment firm's note holders and unsecured creditors to tender offers for their debts to be purchased at a minimum discount of 85 per cent.

The invitation began on Monday and expires on Jan 23, unless extended or terminated earlier, it said in its invitation memorandum on Dec 27.

The offer is open to holders of Hyflux's 4.25 per cent notes due 2018, as well as its 4.6 per cent and 4.2 per cent notes due 2010; as well as senior unsecured, trade and contingent creditors of Hyflux and three of its subsidiaries.

Mr Gerald said that some of Hyflux's perpetual securities and preference shares (PNP) holders have indicated that they would like to participate in a similar exercise.

The offer does not apply to the 34,000 PNP holders who are owed around $900 million.

Most of the queries raised by Hyflux's creditors relate to the identity of Aqua Munda and its director and sole shareholder, Singaporean businessman Bambang Sugeng Kajairi, and whether the company has the necessary funds to complete its proposed reverse Dutch auction, he noted.

A reverse Dutch auction is where the bids offering the highest discounts will be accepted first, until a set pool of funds has been completely used up.

Aqua Munda, which lists its registered business activities as the "manufacture of water treatment, waste treatment and oilfield chemicals", said it will disclose its total amount of funds available to buy over creditors' debts by Jan 18.

Mr Gerald said Sias will update all PNP holders on any discussion or proposal received from Aqua Munda, which has announced that it will engage with the association after the current invitation has closed.

He highlighted that Aqua Munda's invitation is solely between the firm and senior unsecured creditors, and does not involve Hyflux.

"Accordingly, Sias is advised that Hyflux has no obligation to conduct any due diligence on Aqua Munda and is purely facilitating the dissemination of information from Aqua Munda to Hyflux's creditors," he added.

Note holders should ensure that they have read and understood the full terms and conditions in the invitation memorandum and have all the necessary information from Aqua Munda before making an offer for their debt, as they will be unable to withdraw their offer once tendered, Mr Gerald said.

The Straits Times has contacted Aqua Munda for comments.

Follow ST on LinkedIn and stay updated on the latest career news, insights and more.