Image source: Flickr/ aquilaa1

Utico has extended the deadline for acceptance of its proposed rescue package to 15 October, the Singapore-based water treatment firm Hyflux said in a filing to the Singapore Exchange on Wednesday (9 Sept).

Earlier on 13 August, Hyflux announced that the unsecured working group (UWG) of bank lenders has sought to place it under judicial management order.

The group wanted to carve out of Hyflux’s debt moratorium, arguing that Hyflux’s management is no longer reliable to lead any restructuring effort.

In a letter to Hyflux on Wednesday, Utico noted that its binding offer will remain open for acceptance whether or not Hyflux is going to be placed under judicial management order, in view of Hyfux remains listed in the SGX without risk of delisting.

Singapore Business Review reported that Utico poked at Pison Investment’s invitation to acquire Hyflux’s senior unsecured debts at a discount. The firm noted that Pison’s invitation contains no clear intention or disclosure of a roadmap to advance restructuring discussions until such acquisition has been completed.

Pison Investments Pte Ltd had previously announced that it will extend its offer for senior creditors to accept its buyout offer of Hyflux until 4 September, after it saw positive responses from creditors requesting for additional time to submit their application.

But Utico claimed that Pison did not make any offer to preference shares and perpetual securities (PnP) holders, adding that the recovery for their binding offer is higher than Pison’s.

“The above stated has led us to believe that any offer Utico makes in cash, albeit one which provides lower recovery than the offer of shares and cash under the binding offer, will be acceptable to P&P holders,” Utico stated.

Hyflux, in a bourse filing accompanying the letter it received from Utico, said it should not be taken to be endorsing, confirming or agreeing with Utico or any part of the letter, as reported by the Business Times.

Utico stated in the letter that Hyflux did not accept its offer on 30 August – the initial deadline for its proposed rescue package to Hyflux – nor it received a request from the firm to extend the deadline.

However, shareholders have requested to Utico for an extension of the deadline as they believe that Utico’s offer is “the only viable restructuring plan for Hyflux and has the highest recovery available”.

Utico said it decided to extend the deadline after it received an email from Hyflux on Tuesday (8 Sept) requesting the firm to revise or adjust the terms of its proposed rescue package to achieve the best possible outcome for creditors.

The UAE-utilities firm had revised its rescue package offer for Hyflux in July and increased its offer to a minimum of S$485 million.

Affidavit filed against Hyflux’s UWG adviser for offering half-price side offer to unsecured lenders

Meanwhile, it was reported that an affidavit has been filed in the Court on 7 August alledging Borelli Walsh – the adviser for Hyflux’s UWG – of offering Utico a half-price deal in May to sell the business and assets for less than S$200 million.

According to the Business Times’ report, the half-price deal was made through a sale by a judicial manager.

Mr Borelli Walsh, however, denied there was ever a side-offer being made.

The managing director of the restructuring, insolvency and forensic accounting firm, Cosimo Borelli, on the other hand, refused to comment on the matter.

“We are not in a position to make any comment. We would be responding to the matter in Court when the time comes, and we will be denying that allegation,” he told the Business Times.

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