honestbee gets 30-day debt stay extension; some creditors oppose bid

honestbee gets 30-day debt stay extension; some creditors oppose bid

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2 -min read
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A SINGAPORE High Court has granted honestbee another month of court protection on Tuesday, so that the embattled startup can refine its application seeking a six-month debt moratorium from its creditors.

This comes as creditors including landlord LHN Space Resources, trade creditor MOS Foods Singapore and financial creditor Benjamin Lim Jia-Rong are opposing honestbee’s debt moratorium application, The Business Times understands. 

honestbee owes its 20 largest unsecured creditors some S$276.6 million, BT understands, higher than previously announced estimates. It also owes its key backer Formation Group US$4 million, secured by an all-monies charge.

In a closed-door hearing on Tuesday, the court gave honestbee up till Oct 4 to present its moratorium application with further proposals, the startup’s chief executive Ong Lay Ann told reporters in a conference call. 

Mr Ong could not immediately specify what details the court requested, but added: “I think they were looking at perhaps some kind of financial projections… and an initial idea of what the proposal for the scheme is going to look like.” 

“I was quite surprised that the creditors were opposing a scheme that would give them the best possible outcome,” he said. 

Notably, another opposing creditor, LHN Space Resources is the landlord for habitat, honestbee’s supermarket in Boon Leat Terrace. It is not clear if the landlord’s dissent could affect honestbee’s plans to bank on habitat for its business strategy.

However, Mr Ong expressed confidence that honestbee will continue to operate habitat as a core vertical. To stay afloat in the interim, honestbee has also secured an additional US$1 million in funding via a promissory note from Formation Group, he said.

The startup has thus far earlier enjoyed a one-month interim debt moratorium, following its application for court protection on Aug 1. The next court hearing is scheduled for Sept 30, Mr Ong said.