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Sias clarifies it does not support Hyflux restructuring agreement 'at this stage'

THE Securities Investors Association (Singapore) or Sias clarified on Sunday in a statement that it does not, in fact, support the Hyflux restructuring agreement by potential white knight Utico at this stage as previously reported.

This comes as the terms of the restructuring agreement have not been agreed by the relevant parties and are pending resolution on certain final outstanding issues, wrote David Gerald, founder and CEO of Sias.

Instead, Sias' support is for the two-month extension for the moratorium which Hyflux is seeking to facilitate negotiations with Utico with a view to finalise and execute the proposed restructuring agreement. If a deal with Utico cannot be reached, the extension would also facilitate Hyflux to pursue discussions with the other interested investors, he wrote.

Previously, Hyflux and three of its subsidiaries had requested the court to extend their debt moratorium by another two months until November. The applications will be heard in court on Sept 30, when the previous extension expires.

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Utico's proposed rescue package will see it take an 88 per cent stake in Hyflux through a S$300 million equity injection and a S$100 million shareholder loan.

Sias also clarified that the result of a poll from a small group of Hyflux's perpetual securities and preference (P&P) holders after a focus group meeting organised by the association on Aug 1 is not binding.

This is because the focus group only represented a very small sample size of the P&P holders and cannot be taken to be representative of the views of all the P&P holders. More than 77 per cent of the attendees had approved Utico's offer.

"Such approval is, at best, a representative of the percentage in number of parties which responded to the poll. It does not represent the percentage in value," wrote Mr Gerald.

"In addition and crucially, this poll is not binding on any of the parties who participated in the poll and is not reflective of the views of the general pool of P&P holders," he added.