Business

Third potential investor for Hyflux issues letter of intent

Hyflux has a third potential investor in as many weeks issuing a non-binding letter of intent for its assets.

The investor, whose identity was not revealed, has shown interest in acquiring Hyflux's assets in Algeria and Oman, as well as those in the Middle East and North Africa region, in hopes of growing its own portfolio of desalination plants, Hyflux said in an SGX announcement yesterday.

The investor, one of the world's top 10 largest desalination companies, also expressed interest in the operation and maintenance of those assets, it said.

Hyflux described the investor as a subsidiary of a global infrastructure company with expertise in transportation and greenfield infrastructure.

It said the investor specialises in engineering, construction, operation and maintenance of water treatment facilities, in particular water desalination plants, with a focus on build-own-operate-transfer projects, management of concessions and related services.

The proposed deal is subject to regulatory clearance, due diligence and the execution of a binding agreement with terms to be mutually agreed.

The investor is "conscious of the timeline and has indicated that it would be willing to devote all necessary resources to ensure that the due diligence process and the consummation of the deal is carried out in the shortest possible time frame", Hyflux said.

The company said it will consider all serious offers and expressions of interest received.

But the priority is still to find a strategic investor for the group.

Hyflux is concurrently engaged in active discussions with United Arab Emirates utility Utico and Mauritius-based multi-strategy investment Oyster Bay Fund.

Utico has offered to invest $400 million in Hyflux, while Hyflux said it "envisions" an investment of up to $500 million by Oyster Bay.

Meanwhile, Sembcorp Industries has said that it is keeping its options open for Hyflux's Tuaspring co-generation power plant.

Hyflux on Tuesday said that Maybank, Tuaspring's only secured creditor, had appointed Mr Timothy James Reid, a partner of insolvency and restructuring firm Ferrier Hodgson, and its executive director, Ms Theresa Ng Yau Yee, as receivers and managers, to take over the Tuaspring power plant.

This followed national water agency PUB's notice to Hyflux that it will terminate the water purchase agreement on Friday and take over the Tuaspring desalination plant as well as shared infrastructure and related assets on Saturday.

BUSINESS & FINANCE