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Hyflux debt moratorium extended by two more months to Dec 2

THE High Court on Monday granted Hyflux a two-month extension on its debt moratorium until Dec 2, after most of its creditors either took no position or showed support for the move, with the exception of an unsecured working group of creditors.

The latter compromises a group of seven unsecured banks, including BNP Paribas, Mizuho Bank, KFW IPEX-Bank, Bangkok Bank and Standard Chartered Bank. The group is represented by Eddee Ng, senior partner at Tan Kok Quan Partnership.

At Monday's hearing, Hyflux's lawyer Manoj Sandrasegara of WongPartnership made a plea for an extension, saying that the company was very close to sealing a deal with Middle Eastern utility company Utico, and that even if the deal were to fall through for some reason, there were other interested investors that Hyflux could pursue talks with.

Last Friday, Utico said in a statement that Hyflux still had not signed the definitive restructuring agreement, although Utico had inked it on the Aug 26 deadline. Utico claimed that Hyflux's board and its advisers have "refused" to guarantee that they will stop any "leaking of value" in the event the extension is granted by the court.

Making no reference to this claim in Court on Monday, Mr Sandrasegara said that there remain small details that both sides are still working together on, and an agreement should be reached within two to three weeks if the discussions succeed.

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Justice Aedit Abdullah granted the extension to Dec 2, but said a case management conference will be held on Oct 31 for a progress update on a rescue deal, and also for any parties to raise their applications to Court, so that the actual hearing on Nov 29 may be planned accordingly.

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