Hyflux clarifies size of potential investment from Utico

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Hyflux said Wednesday it sought clarification from UAE-based Utico FZC after media reports had conflicting valuations for the deal’s value for the company’s investment.

Earlier this month, the troubled water infrastructure player said it reached an agreement with Utico, the Middle East’s largest full-service utility and developer, to make a S$300 million equity investment and a S$100 million loan.

At the time, Hyflux said it was informed by Utico that it planned to offer the cash equivalent of a 4 percent stake in the enlarged Utico group, plus additional cash to the holders of Hyflux’s preference shares and perpetual capital securities.

Reports in the Straits Times and Channel News Asia had put the deal’s value at S$535 million, Hyflux said Wednesday.

After seeking clarification from Utico, Hyflux said the details of the investment had not changed, but that Utico was assessing the value of its proposed investment, subject to further talks between the company and stakeholders, at S$535 million.

“The company is in continued talks with Utico and stakeholders,” Hyflux said. “The proposed investment by Utico is subject to discussions being completed with the relevant stakeholders and definitive documents being entered into between the parties.”

The water player urged stakeholders to rely on information provided by the company via SGX.

In a separate press release, Utico had said Monday that including its offer to Hyflux’s creditors, the total deal value would be S$535 million, which was higher than the failed white knight bid from consortium SM Investments.

Utico said it planned to address the concerns of Hyflux’s perpetual securities and preference (PNP) stakeholders with its offer of a cash equivalent of a 4 percent Utico stake and other cash payouts.

Richard Menezes, managing director of Utico, said in the statement the offer would give the PNP stakeholders 50 percent of their first S$2,000 to S$3,000, with a staggered deal for the rest, providing options to exit and hope for a full redemption.

He added that Utico made a commitment to list on SGX for the deal.

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