MVP, Gokongwei firm up joint venture

Bidding for P17.5-B Mactan airport project

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10:28 PM February 25th, 2013

By: Doris C. Dumlao, February 25th, 2013 10:28 PM

Manuel V. Pangilinan. INQUIRER file photo

After their game-changing partnership in telecommunications, 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 Metro Pacific Investments Corp. and Gokongwei-led JG Summit Holdings disclosed to the Philippine Stock Exchange Monday the signing of a deal to create a joint-venture firm called MPIC-JGS Airport Consortium Inc., which will be their local infrastructure-building platform.

The consortium formed by two of the country’s biggest conglomerates intends not only to bid for the rehabilitation and expansion of the Mactan-Cebu International Airport but to explore other airport projects that may be rolled out by the government in the future.

MPIC-JGS will be majority-owned by MPIC while JG Summit will own 33 percent. An airport operator partner will be given a 10-percent stake.

With a combined market capitalization of P398 billion, MPIC and JG Summit are pooling resources in what is expected to be a stiff race to redevelop the Mactan-Cebu airport, the country’s second-biggest 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, the gateway to the world-famous Boracay island.

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 can create a strong alliance in the government’s airport rehabilitation project.

In 2011, Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co., which is also led by First Pacific Co. Ltd., forged an alliance with the Gokongweis on the telecom business.  PLDT took over majority control of Gokongwei-led Digital Telecommunications Philippines Inc. (Digitel) in a share-swap deal that made JG Summit a minority investor in PLDT. The consolidation gave the PLDT group 70-percent control of the country’s wireless phone market.

Meanwhile, MPIC has earlier formed a separate alliance with the Ayala group that intends to vie for 10 potential railway projects in Metro Manila under the master plan made by the government for urban railways.

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