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Honestbee applies to start court-supervised restructuring process

Janet Ong
Finance Editor
habitat by honestbee. (PHOTO: Honestbee)

SINGAPORE — Troubled grocery and delivery start-up Honestbee today applied to the Singapore High Court to start a court-supervised restructuring process.

The company is seeking a six-month reprieve from creditors whom it owes over US$180 million, a spokesperson told Yahoo Finance Singapore on Friday (2 August). Creditors include its key backer Formation Group and associates of Brian Koo, managing director of Formation and also the current chairman of Honestbee.

The company submitted the application “with the intention of proposing a scheme of arrangement to restructure its liabilities and to seek a moratorium against enforcement actions and legal proceedings”, according to a statement it put out.

Among other measures, the company will be converting secured and unsecured debt to equity as part of the restructuring, the spokesperson said.

The company today laid off 20 workers from its supermarket habitat by honestbee and 18 from its headquarters, the spokesperson added. They will be asked to serve out their notice period according to their contracts.

In April, Honestbee had announced that it would cut its global headcount by 10 per cent as part of a strategic review.

Leadership changes

Earlier this week, on Tuesday (30 July), Honestbee had announced that the appointment of Ong Lay Ann as chief executive officer from 15 July, and that Jonathan Low, co-founder and chief technology officer had resigned on 11 July.

Mr Ong took over from interim CEO Mr Koo, who in turn had taken over from company co-founder Joel Sng, after the latter’s departure in early May.

The company had temporarily suspended its business operations in Malaysia, including grocery and food delivery services, from 22 July. This came after the company dropped food deliveries and suspended its laundry service in Singapore from 20 May.

Honestbee has hired Oon & Bazul LLP as legal advisor and DHC Capital Pte Ltd as its independent financial advisor.


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