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Novena Healthcare’s Terence Loh in S$70 million debt, launches attempt to avoid bankruptcy

He is seeking interim order to halt legal action and make arrangements with creditors

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Singapore—Embattled businessman Terence Loh, who co-founded Novena Global Healthcare (NGH), is applying for an interim order to avoid going into bankruptcy, The Straits Times (ST) reported on Thursday (Apr 29).

The Amount he owes five banks, due to a personal guarantee for The loans held by NGH, has reached S$70 million.

On Apr 15, his bankruptcy case was adjourned for the third time, after he said he needed more time to come up with a plan to pay Maybank, one of NGH’s creditors.

And on Thursday (Apr 29) it was adjourned again when Mr Muralli Rajaram, his lawyer, told the court about Mr Loh’s application for the interim order.

The interim order Mr Loh seeks will be heard next month. It will put a halt to all legal action against him, including bankruptcy proceedings, while the businessman makes arrangements with his creditors for repayment schemes.

If Maybank, Citibank, Standard Chartered Bank, DBS Bank and UOB Bank, among other creditors, agree to his settlement arrangements, the High Court will appoint a nominee for the implementation of his proposals.

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However, if they decline his proposal, the court will discharge the interim order.

ST quoted Mr Loh as saying on Thursday that he is “actively putting together a plan focused on salvaging value with various stakeholders.The transaction contains sensitive details and is highly confidential.”

Maybank has been seeking to recover more than S$3 million from Mr Loh, who is the guarantor for the loan the bank granted the Singapore subsidiary of Novena Global Healthcare Group (NGH).

In November 2020, Maybank started bankruptcy proceedings against Mr Loh. 

In January this year, Mr Loh asked creditors for additional time to put together a repayment scheme.

This is quite a reversal of fortune for Mr Loh.

He and his cousin Nelson Loh, a co-founder of NGH, were two of the three principals of the Bellagraph Nova Group, which was reported to be a serious contender for buying the English Premier League football club Newcastle United in August last year.

In January, Mr Nelson Loh, 41, was not able to pay more than $14 million in outstanding debts that he owed DBS Bank. The Singapore High Court has since adjudged him a bankrupt.

Moreover, Novena Global Healthcare Group faces accusations of having used unauthorised signatures of accounting firm Ernst & Young in its financial statements. 

The cousins have since separated their business interests.

ST reports Mr Terence Loh has said that he is trying to recover value from his other businesses so that he can pay his creditors. He is said to be exploring the possible sale of one chain of clinics under a Novena Global Healthcare Group subsidiary, Novu Aesthetics.

However, all five of Novu Aesthetics’ outlets were closed suddenly in March. There are hundreds of patients who still have prepaid treatment packages they have yet to claim, ST added.

The clinics were reportedly shut due to a lack of funds, with some clinic staff owed back pay.

/TISG

Read also: Loh cousins go from bid to buy Newcastle United to bankruptcy woes in a few short months

Loh cousins go from bid to buy Newcastle United to bankruptcy woes in a few short months

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