Investors can still demand probe if they back plan: Sias

There is nothing to stop Hyflux creditors from demanding an investigation into the firm or for a new board to examine its predecessor's actions if investors back the restructuring plan on April 5.

That was the view of the Securities Investors Association (Singapore), or Sias, yesterday.

Sias president David Gerald said: "Hyflux investors have been asking Sias to advise them on their legal rights as they feel the board and management have let them down.

"Sias will, for its members, provide pro bono legal advice after April 5, but at this moment cannot assure whether or not there can be a class action (lawsuit).

"It will really depend on whether the legal opinion confirms there is wrongdoing on the part of the board or management, or the arrangers or auditors. Legal actions are expensive, and we have to be sure there are grounds for action."

Mr Gerald said Sias is aware that some Hyflux investors think that if they vote for the restructuring, "all investigations against the board and management would stop and they will never find out if, indeed, there was any wrongdoing and whether anyone is responsible for losing all their money".

"This view is not correct," he added. "If there is any investigation, it will continue.

"The scheme, as it stands, only discharges the company, and not the directors, the management, auditors nor the arrangers of the instruments sold to Hyflux investors."

Grace Leong

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 02, 2019, with the headline 'Investors can still demand probe if they back plan: Sias'. Print Edition | Subscribe