Honestbee ex-staff, trade creditors won’t get any of the S$320 million owed
Source: Business Times
Article Date: 26 May 2023
Author: Sharanya Pillai
Secured lender Formation Group recovered about S$700,000; liquidators to apply for honestbee to be dissolved.
There is no money left to pay former staff, vendors and other unsecured creditors of failed grocery delivery startup honestbee, who are owed S$319.9 million, The Business Times (BT) has learnt.
Honestbee’s sole secured creditor, Formation Group, has realised about S$700,000 from the startup’s assets, BT understands. The sum falls far short of the US$4 million worth of debentures that Formation Group held over honestbee’s assets.
According to documents seen by BT, honestbee’s liquidator BDO only managed to recover about S$720 from excess payments for “electrical supplies”.
BT understands several former employees of honestbee are still owed salaries. One who is owed about S$8,000 told BT: “(I) would have liked the Ministry of Manpower to take harsher action on the company and its directors.”
Meanwhile, an F&B vendor owed about S$3,000 told BT: “I have seen many businesses going bankrupt and nothing (being) given out. I did not have much expectations in this case either, just that this was a high-profile bankruptcy compared to smaller ones.”
After a creditors’ meeting on May 18, the liquidator is now set to apply to the High Court to discharge itself and to dissolve honestbee. BDO declined to comment.
The developments mark the end of the road for honestbee, a once high-flying startup that ran into a cash crunch in 2019. After failed restructuring attempts – including plans to open a pizza joint – the company was placed under liquidation in July 2020.
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