Overdue payment: Is Sapura Energy facing dire cash flow impediment?

IS Sapura Energy Bhd facing some sort of financial hiccup given its inability to pay a vendor a meagre sum of RM180,000 despite claiming last year that it is still “an ongoing concern”?

The sum owed has remained unpaid for six months.

The said vendor who claims that he is “at wits’ end” shared with FocusM that his management team has sent an open letter to Sapura’s board of directors in what appears to be a final attempt to recover unpaid money amicably.

“This may seem like a drop in the ocean but please understand that for us, it pays the salaries of all our 14 employees for four months,” noted the open letter that was made available to FocusM.

Signed by a management team member of the undisclosed small medium enterprise (SME), the letter said the company has been a vendor for 10 years and has served the client to the best of its capabilities “despite the recent pandemic and incessant news of your financial difficulties”.

“As of today, you are our single largest debtor, representing over 30% of monies owed to us. The vast majority of this sum has been overdue by more than six months.”

The letter recalled a statement released by Sapura Energy on Dec 8, 2021 stating that the international oil & gas (O&G) outfit was “still a going concern” and that it would be “discussing with vendors” with regard to resolving its “current liquidity issue”.

The letter further suggests the vendor had a tough time dealing with Sapura Energy which is still issuing purchase orders and requesting quotations, but not making payments for the past six months.

“It is almost impossible to get any response from your staff responsible for vendor payments,” noted the open letter.

“We have yet to successfully speak with anyone from your staff regarding our overdue payments as our phone calls have never been answered, and we were turned away when we attempted to visit your offices.”

From the hundreds of e-mails sent to the relevant staff of Sapura Energy, the letter said only two replies were received, one of which dated Dec 13, 2021 which painted an optimistic picture with regard to a possible payment in January 2022.

“Although there are 10 days remaining in this month, it seems highly unlikely that this will materialise,” the letter pointed out.

“I am prompted into writing this letter by an episode earlier this month where we supplied goods which were urgently required by you. Communication from your staff ceased immediately after the delivery of our goods for which we are yet to receive an acknowledged delivery order. Without this, we are unable to submit to you our invoice for this order.”

The letter further expressed concerned that “overdue payments owe to us may never see the light of day” given that Sapura Energy has slipped to an all-time low amid concerns of likely distressed asset sales which may culminate in “a worst-case bankruptcy scenario” – Jan 21, 2022

Subscribe and get top news delivered to your Inbox everyday for FREE