Embattled water treatment firm Hyflux on Friday (Aug 16) announced its intention to "engage exclusively" with United Arab Emirates suitor Utico until an Aug 26 deadline.
"The company wishes to update that as negotiations with Utico (are) the most advanced amongst all the potential investors, the company intends to engage exclusively with Utico from now until Aug 26, 2019," said Hyflux in an announcement.
"The company and its advisors will negotiate diligently with Utico with a view to entering into a definitive agreement by Aug 26, 2019."
The announcement came two days after the Emirati utility firm called on Hyflux to "act without delay" in deciding on an investor, stressing a deal must be signed by Aug 26.
Utico signalled its interest in Hyflux as early as May. The deal would see Utico take an 88 per cent equity stake in Hyflux for S$300 million as equity and S$100 million as a shareholder loan.
Utico also intends to offer the cash equivalent of a 4 per cent stake in the enlarged Utico group, plus additional cash to the holders of Hyflux preference shares and perpetual securities (PNP).
In addition to Utico, Hyflux has been in talks with at least six other suitors and said it has received separate non-binding letters of intent for investments from global multi-strategy investment fund Oyster Bay Fund and an unnamed China-based suitor.