MANILA, Philippines – After their game-changing partnership in the telecommunications business, businessman Manuel V. Pangilinan and tycoon John Gokongwei have formed a new alliance to jointly bid for the P17.5-billion Mactan Cebu International Airport passenger terminal redevelopment project.
Pangilinan-led infrastructure holding firm Metro Pacific Investments Corp. and the Gokongwei-led JG Summit Holdings disclosed to the Philippine Stock Exchange on Monday the signing of an agreement to create a joint venture firm called MPIC-JGS Airport Consortium, Inc. This firm will be majority-owned by MPIC while JG Summit will own 33 percent. An airport operator partner will be given a 10 percent stake.
The consortium formed by two of the country’s largest conglomerates will bid for the rehabilitation and expansion of the Mactan-Cebu International Airport and will also explore other airport projects that may be rolled out by the government in the future.
MPIC and JG Summit, with a combined market capitalization of P398 billion, are pooling resources in what is expected to be stiff bidding to redevelop the Mactan-Cebu airport, the country’s second largest international gateway, under a public-private partnership (PPP) framework. The Ayala and Aboitiz conglomerates earlier teamed up for the project while another strong contender is San Miguel Corp., the lead operator of the Caticlan airport which is a gateway to Boracay Island.
“We are pleased to be partnering with JG Summit, one of the country’s diversified conglomerates pioneering in products and services that have become household names. The strong ties of the Gokongwei family in Cebu, through its ancestral roots and economic contribution in various real estate developments and retail businesses account for a deep sense of commitment to further improve Cebu’s business links to the rest of the world,” said MPIC chair Pangilinan.
MPIC’s experience as the leading infrastructure investment company transforming regulated businesses in water utilities, electricity distribution, toll roads and other public infrastructure projects combined with the expertise of JG Summit in the fields of commercial real estate, hotel and property development, and air transportation is seen creating a strong alliance in the government’s airport rehabilitation project.
Pangilinan added: “Integrating both our management expertise, corporate governance adherence and solid track record in developing large-scale infrastructure projects will strengthen the capabilities of the airport in responding to the needs of both passenger and airline customers. Achieving world-class status and modernization for our fast growing air transport sector will be better served as we join hands in the reforms that will contribute to the growth of the country’s economy.”
For his part, JG Summit president and chief operating officer Lance Gokongwei said: “JG Summit is happy to partner with Metro Pacific in this, our first venture into infrastructure development. Their experience in developing public infrastructure projects and in bidding for the same under the government’s current PPP system, brings great value to this partnership. We hope to grow the airport into a real efficient and commercially viable hub for both leisure and business travelers flocking to the faster-growing southern part of the country.”