Utico extends Hyflux offer deadline to Aug 30

UTICO has again extended the deadline of its proposed rescue deal for Singapore’s Hyflux, this time by a month.

The ailing water treatment company now has until 5pm on Aug 30 to accept the offer pursuant to its request for an extension, Utico said in a letter to Hyflux dated July 31, which was the original deadline.

The offer will remain open for acceptance this month irrespective of whether a judicial manager is appointed or not, the Middle Eastern utility firm added.

An unsecured working group of bank lenders is preparing to file an application with the Singapore High Court by Aug 7 to place Hyflux under judicial management.

Hyflux will thus have “stronger bona fide grounds” if there is an explicit acceptance of Utico’s offer by Aug 6 by Hyflux and the Securities Investors Association (Singapore), or Sias, the Emirati suitor wrote in its letter.

Hyflux and Sias had sent responses to Utico on July 30 and 31, stating that neither of them differentiates any investor. They also acknowledged that Hyflux has no other “binding offers” to date, and has only received letters of interest and invitations to offer addressed to senior unsecured creditors and medium term noteholders, Utico said.

According to Utico, its proposal is considered a de facto extension of the restructuring agreement signed in November last year.

Sias on July 30 clarified in a press statement that it does not plan to endorse any of the rescue offers for the water treatment firm put forth by potential white knights including Utico.

This was in response to Utico’s July 29 statement urging the investor advocacy group to endorse its proposed S$485 million cash-and-stock rescue package. Utico said its offer could “save” Hyflux from judicial management and provide the highest possible recovery for the retail investors holding Hyflux’s perpetual securities and preference shares.