Hyflux said to have $21.5m in cash - enough for 10 months

Hyflux is Singapore's most high-profile debt-restructuring case.
Hyflux is Singapore's most high-profile debt-restructuring case.PHOTO: ST FILE

Hyflux, which was put under judicial management last month, now has only about $21.5 million in cash, according to a person familiar with the matter.

The amount is enough to last at least 10 months, the person said, asking not to be identified because the matter is private.

The revelation means this is at least the second year in which liquidity at the troubled water treatment company has more than halved. It had $44.6 million in cash and equivalents at the end of last year, compared with about $92 million on Dec 31, 2018, according to court affidavits from March this year and January 2019.

Hyflux is Singapore's most high-profile debt-restructuring case, which has dragged on since a court-supervised process began in May 2018, frustrating creditors and some 34,000 retail investors.

The once corporate high flyer faces about $2.8 billion of investor claims, more than $1 billion of which are from holders of its perpetual capital securities and preference shares.

Judicial managers Borrelli Walsh had said earlier this month that they were in talks with 14 new potential investors, without disclosing their identities. These parties are in addition to five existing suitors.

Half of the 14 new bidders for Hyflux are financial investors, including one in Singapore that manages more than US$100 billion (S$132.9 billion) in assets, according to the person.

The bidders include three more suitors from Singapore: another financial investor with assets over US$20 billion and two non-financial companies with latest annual revenues of more than US$800 million and US$200 million each.

A company from Japan with annual revenue of over US$40 billion and another non-financial firm with operations in Singapore and Japan and yearly revenue of more than US$30 billion are also in the race, the person said.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 30, 2020, with the headline 'Hyflux said to have $21.5m in cash - enough for 10 months'. Subscribe