(Jan 16): A Middle Eastern suitor for Hyflux said it is willing to walk away from a deal with the embattled water treatment company, after a little-known firm made an offer for the utility’s debt.

The development is an added complication in Singapore’s highest-profile restructuring case, which has left some 34,000 retail investors in the lurch, with few signs of a resolution emerging after more than 18 months. Hyflux is separately asking for a three-month extension of its debt moratorium.

The United Arab Emirates-based utility, Utico FZC, will hold a town-hall meeting for holders of Hyflux’s perpetual securities and preference shares, as well as medium-term notes, on Jan 20 in Singapore. It comes just days before the expiry of an offer by Aqua Munda to buy the Singaporean company’s debt.

“We are willing to walk away” if note holders “don’t want us,” Richard Menezes, chief executive officer of Utico, said in a press release. “However, I believe that taking part in the town hall will present the correct forum to know facts and take a decision.”

Utico entered a restructuring deal with Hyflux in November. Weeks later, Aqua Munda emerged from nowhere with an offer to purchase Hyflux’s debt at a minimum discount of 85%.