ABU DHABI (Reuters) - United Arab Emirates-based Utico FZC said on Thursday it was confident a restructuring deal with Singapore’s indebted Hyflux Ltd (HYFL.SI) could be reached, after the two sides earlier issued conflicting statements about progress on an agreement.
Utico announced at the start of the week that a deal had been reached in which it would take 88% of Hyflux, but the Singaporean firm said on Wednesday no definitive agreement had been struck although discussions were advanced.
Hyflux, which is under a court-supervised restructuring process, was once considered a national champion running a strategically important water source for the city-state.
Utico Chief Executive Richard Menezes told Reuters his company was “confident” of reaching agreement because a deal had the approval of 70% of senior creditors, a majority of perpetual and preference shareholders and Utico’s board.
He said the Hyflux board was holding back over issues such as advisors fees, board representation and management oversight.
Once the Hyflux board and court approved the deal, Utico planned to set up a separate entity in Singapore to make the payments due, the CEO said, adding that Utico was committed to a proposed initial public offering (IPO) in two years.
“We can turn the company around and we are there for the long-term,” he said, adding Hyflux had valuable intellectual property and assets, and also had management team expertise.
Reporting by Stanley Carvalho; Editing by Edmund Blair