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Hyflux admits S$2.81b in claims after adjudication

WATER treatment company Hyflux has tossed out some of the claims filed against it after adjudication, but the bulk of the S$3.59 billion demanded by some 74 groups of claimants still stands.

The claim figures, released just after midnight on Saturday, were revised upwards from preliminary numbers "following clarifications/review", according to the bourse announcement from Hyflux. Some S$3.51 billion had been claimed by 73 creditors and stakeholders, in an earlier list put out on March 8.

Hyflux has now admitted some S$2.81 billion in claims altogether, including facilities claims, contingent claims, and trade and other claims. These claims will be taken into account in the scheme proposals for Hyflux's debt restructuring plan, with retail investors in particular having clamoured loudly at Hyflux's gates over the downward spiral of an erstwhile home-grown darling.

The admitted sum compares against some S$2.66 billion in claims counted that were under the Hyflux scheme in an "explanatory statement" published on Feb 22. The Business Times previously reported that some parties might have overstated their claims, leading to a difference in the overall claim values.

Hyflux admitted largely unchanged the S$970 million in claims by holders of Hyflux preference shares and perpetual securities, as well as the S$277.7 million claimed by medium-term noteholders.

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But, besides certain trade and other claims, Hyflux also rejected S$776 million in contingent claims - including the S$502.6 million claimed by project company Tahlyat Myah Magtaa for contracts dealing with a Hyflux desalination plant in Algeria.

Meanwhile, HSBC Institutional Trust Services (Singapore), the trustee of Ascendas Reit, had claimed S$120.9 million over the lease of the Hyflux Innovation Centre and the Hyflux building at Kallang Bahru - but just S$41.4 million of that claim was admitted.

And, when it came to the S$150 million claimed by RBC Investor Services Trust Singapore, the trustee of ESR-Reit, for a rent guarantee on Hyflux's Tuas Hub lease, only S$83.3 million of that sum made the cut.

Hyflux is slated to hold a do-or-die vote - which will essentially ask creditors to hold their noses and pick between restructuring and liquidation of the company - on April 5.

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