Hyflux's fall from darling of the entrepreneurial scene to troubled firm: 5 must-reads

Tuaspring Desalination Plant, one of the desalination plants built by water treatment firm Hyflux.
Tuaspring Desalination Plant, one of the desalination plants built by water treatment firm Hyflux. PHOTO: HYFLUX

Embattled water treatment firm Hyflux has lost control of its one-time largest asset Tuaspring Integrated Water and Power Plant. National water agency PUB assumed control of the desalination plant and shared infrastructure on Saturday (May 18). It is the latest event in the dramatic story of Hyflux, once the darling of the entrepreneurial scene. The much-lauded home-grown water and power company filed for bankruptcy protection in 2018. It is in talks with at least three potential investors. 

Here are five must-reads on Hyflux's troubles.


PUB rejects Utico request to delay May 18 takeover of Tuaspring desalination plant


Utico was hoping to enter a deal with Hyflux, which would allow them to fix the problems at Tuaspring desalination plant that led to PUB's decision to take it over. PHOTO: ST FILE 

National water agency PUB has shot down a last-minute request by Hyflux's potential white knight Utico to delay the authority's takeover of the Tuaspring desalination plant, which has been set for May 18.

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No 'impropriety' by DBS found to date in May 2016 sale of $500m in Hyflux perpetual securities: MAS



DBS was the sole lead manager and bookrunner of Hyflux' issue of $500 million 6 per cent perpetual bonds on May 27, 2016. PHOTO: ST FILE 

DBS was the sole lead manager and bookrunner of Hyflux's issue of 6 per cent perpetual bonds on May 27, 2016.

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Hyflux saga: Flood of questions over debt debacle


A group of Hyflux investors staging a protest (above) at the Speakers' Corner in Hong Lim Park on March 30 to vent their anger over the state of affairs at the troubled company. ST PHOTO: JASON QUAH 

Once the darling of the entrepreneurial scene, Hyflux is now vilified by investors and its affairs closely watched by regulators. Insight looks at the questions that have arisen.

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Hyflux in hot water: 6 things about embattled CEO Olivia Lum


Hyflux chief executive Olivia Lum once bought a motorcycle to travel faster to her students' homes, when she was giving tuition to pay rent as a student in Singapore. PHOTO: ST FILE

Once upon a time, it seemed she rode a perpetually cresting wave from one success to the next.

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Hyflux's cash flow runs dry


Tuaspring Desalination Plant, one of the desalination plants built by water treatment firm Hyflux. PHOTO: HYFLUX

Home-grown Hyflux made its name in treating water. Coupled with the gumption of founder-CEO Olivia Lum, it became an international brand in desalination with operations in 23 jurisdictions globally, was held up as a role model for other local entrepreneurs, and turned its founder into one of South-east Asia's richest businesswomen.

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