Singapore’s global environmental solutions company, Hyflux has a debt, including bank loans, subordinate loans such as perpetual securities and preference shares, and medium-term notes, of over 3 Bn Singapore dollars ($2.2 Bn).
It has been a while that the company has been under debt, now leading to agitation from the group of banks, who are owed S$648 Mn. These banks now want to effectively drive the current Hyflux management out of the process. While the company has received a letter of intent for a possible S$400 Mn, these banks are not convinced and suggest Hyflux to be put under judicial management and/or interim judicial management.
Amidst all of this chaos, the salary of Hyflux CEO Olivia Lum has gained quite a lot of attention. And yesterday, she has made the disclosure in an affidavit that the highly paid leader will now get just $1 a year as she tries to save the debt-laden water treatment company.
“I have decided that henceforth, I will only draw a nominal S$1 annual salary until Hyflux is successfully restructured,” said Lum.
She further added that Hyflux’s board agreed that at the company’s next annual general meeting, there will be no director fees proposed.
CEO Lum has earned over S$60 Mn in dividends in the time that shareholders and bondholders have seen their entire investment destroyed, as per SIAS, the Securities Investor Association. And when two years ago the company’s reported losses stood at S$115.6 Mn, the CEO was still receiving between S$750,000 and S$1 Mn in salary, benefits, and bonuses.
It is not surprising that Lum’s high salary has been a bone of contention with numerous investors.
However, now Lum has taken a bold step and has taken upon herself the responsibility to successfully restructure the firm and get it back on the track.
Only time will tell how Lum and her team are able to put Hyflux back in the game, clear their debts and put this difficult time behind.
Image Credits: Singapore Tatler