Singapore—An anonymous source familiar with beleaguered water treatment firm Hyflux told Bloomberg that the company only has S$21.5 million left in cash.

This is enough to keep Hyflux running for 10 months.

The source asked Bloomberg to remain unnamed as the matter is a private one.

Bloomberg further outlined the company’s dwindling liquidity. At the end of 2018, Hyflux had about S$92 million in cash and equivalents. And at the end of last year, it has S$44.6 million, according to court affidavits.

In 2011, Hyflux was worth S$1.6 billion. Two years later the firm was expanding in the Middle East. However, the price of oil dropped, affecting Hyflux’s progress.

Meanwhile, the company amassed huge debts, borrowing over S$1.4 billion in bank loans, perpetual bonds, and an issue of preferred shares in order to build the Tuaspring plant.

On November 16 of this year, Hyflux was placed under judicial management, after Justice Aedit Abdullah said that the repeated extension for the company’s debt moratorium needs to “come to an end at some point”.

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Borrelli Walsh, the adviser for the unsecured working group (UWG) of Hyflux creditors, was appointed interim judicial managers (JMs) for the beleaguered company.

The water treatment firm’s application for a stay on the decision was denied.

The company’s financial straits became obvious with its debt-restructuring process affecting not only its creditors but around 34,000 retail investors.

Hyflux faces approximately S$2.8 billion in investor claims.

Borrelli Walsh said this month that there are 14 new potential investors, in addition to five existing ones, in talks regarding the company’s future. Who these entities are has not been made public yet.

Bloomberg’s source sad that one of the new potential investors is from Singapore and manages over S$100 billion in assets. Additionally, there are three other potential investors from the country: one investor with more than S$20 million in assets and two non-financial companies with latest annual revenues of over S$800 million and S$200 million each.

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There is also a Japanese firm that makes more than S$40 billion in annual revenues, as well as another non-financial company with over S$30 billion in annual revenues interested in Hyflux.

Last month Justice Aedit said that the two-year-old court-supervised moratorium had not been “intended to continue indefinitely” but was a means to “give temporary reprieve” while Hyflux negotiated rescue plans.

However, “this has not been the case here,” Justice Aedit said.

“I’m not persuaded that sufficient grounds have been made for any further extensions and this must come to an end at some point,” he added.

After news broke of Hyflux’s S$2.8 billion debt due to default notices and unsecured claims that had the company at the edge of insolvency, the Public Utilities Board (PUB) was set to take over the company for zero dollars.

—/TISG

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