Utico says to lower bid for Hyflux if deal isn’t signed by next week

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U.A.E.-based infrastructure player Utico FZC said Thursday it would lower its bid for Hyflux to S$200 million to the senior unsecured working group of creditors and a S$100 million shareholder loan if a restructuring agreement isn’t signed by early next week.

Utico added the offer for perpetual securities holders would remain unchanged, even after early next week, unless there are provisions over the delays.

Hyflux did not immediately respond to Shenton Wire’s emailed request for comment.

Troubled water infrastructure player Hyflux had said in mid-August it reached a proposed agreement with Utico, the Middle East’s largest full-service utility and developer, for a S$300 million equity investment and a S$100 million loan. The size of the potential investment, including payouts to small security holders, was later clarified, with Utico valuing the total deal at S$535 million.

Utico said it was concerned that minority shareholders in Hyflux’s Qurrayat project in Oman reached a deal to take over the plant, with the offtaker expressing impartiality over the possibility. It also pointed to other parties trying to poach Hyflux assets, such as Mitsubishi seeking TuasOne, and Spanish companies Valoriza, Aqualia and Suez seeking the Algeria project.

Utico said in a statement sent via WhatsApp that it had resolved a key item in negotiations with Hyflux over advisers’ fees, with an in-principle deal to cap them at S$40 million.

But the U.A.E.-based company said talks over the consent and consult provisions remained a sticking point and possible deal breaker.

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