Emirati utilities group Utico submits binding offer as Hyflux’s white knight investor

Emirati utilities group Utico submits binding offer as Hyflux’s white knight investor

Following its non-binding letter of intent to debt-ridden water treatment firm Hyflux at the end of last month, Emirati utilities group Utico has made a binding offer to invest S$400mil to the company, according to Utico’s chief executive officer Richard Menezes.

Reuters reported Menezes as saying on Sun (12 May) that Utico will provide Hyflux with working capital and any urgent interim funding as a part of the binding offer, and that it would negotiate the matter with Singapore’s national water agency Public Utilities Board and Hyflux’s retail investors.

“We submitted the binding term sheet last week. We are looking for the right deal that provides all stakeholders a satisfactory position in the company,” he added.

Last Fri (10 May), Hyflux received a non-binding letter of intent from international multi-strategy investment fund Oyster Bay Fund in a race to secure a new white knight investor before the end of its extended debt moratorium at the end of this month, after its termination of a S$380mil bailout deal with Indonesian conglomerate Salim-Medco Group – via its Singapore arm SM Investments last month.

The Business Times reported Hyflux as saying on Fri (10 May) that the fund has expressed its intention to buy preference and ordinary shares in HyfluxShop Holdings, Hyflux’s consumer water business and partially-owned subsidiary, from the company for up to S$26mil.

Hyflux told BT that it “envisions” almost S$500mil worth of investment from Oyster Bay Fund “subject to regulatory clearance, due diligence and the execution of a definitive agreement”.

“The letter of intent (from Oyster Bay Fund) is stated to automatically terminate if a judicial manager or liquidator is appointed over the company,” added Hyflux.

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