SG High Court grants Honestbee 30-day extension to restructure debt

Singapore-headquartered on-demand delivery startup Honestbee on Tuesday announced that it has secured a one-month debt moratorium in its bid to restructure its business.

The Singapore High Court has directed the startup to provide details of a proposed scheme of arrangement — the first step in restructuring Honestbee’s debt — and said it will next hear the matter on September 30.

“The intended scheme will allow creditors to achieve a better recovery. If the moratorium is not approved, honestbee will have to review the company’s financial position and approach the various
financial creditors for an alternative bail-out package,” Honestbee said in a statement. “The liquidation option for honestbee will result in all creditors recovering little to no money.

News of the reprieve from the Singapore High Court was first reported by the Straits Times and the Business Times.

According to the Business Times, Honestbee’s creditors including landlord LHN Space Resources, trade creditor MOS Foods Singapore and financial creditor Benjamin Lim Jia-Rong are opposed to its debt moratorium application.

The report added that Honestbee owes its 20 largest unsecured creditors about S$276.6 million ($199.21 million), which is higher than previously announced estimates. It also owes key investor Formation Group $4 million, secured by an all-monies charge.

Honestbee CEO Ong Lay Ann has expressed surprise at the outcome, according to reports.

Ong told Straits Times that 30 days is “insufficient” for restructuring the company given the complexity of the case and number of creditors it has. He added that a minimum of four to six months will be required for it to deliberate over a viable scheme.

Honestbee had announced earlier this month that its three largest creditors – Singapore-registered special purpose vehicle A Honestbee, Formation Group and Honestbee’s chairman Brian Koo – had expressed support for the moratorium. The three collectively account for 77.2 per cent of Honestbee’s debt.

Eight other creditors, including Mitsubishi Corporation, have also indicated support for the moratorium, according to an affidavit seen by Straits Times. These account for 1.9 per cent of the company’s debt.

Honestbee had also added in this application that it received an expression of interest from Formation Group for an investment of up to $25 million to stay afloat. Koo and Formation Group also injected $1 million each into Honestbee as working capital between August 5 and August 22.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.