Pangilinan-Gokongwei alliance to pursue power deals


Manuel V. Pangilinan is ready to take his group’s business partnership with the Gokongwei family a step further, eyeing possible new projects in the power generation sector to meet the country’s growing demand.

The Gokongwei family, through JG Summit Holdings, holds a seat on the board of Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co., which is chaired by Pangilinan.

Both groups have also agreed to form a joint venture that would bid for the P17.5-billion Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA) project.

Pangilinan on Tuesday said his group was open to exploring new opportunities in other industries, particularly power generation.

“There are other opportunities that could arise in the course of this relationship with the Gokongwei group,” he said.

He revealed that at one point, the PLDT group was approached to invest in a power plant in Batangas that complements the petrochemical project of JG Summit Petrochemical Corp.

“They are planning to expand that. That was broached to us. If they decide to proceed, we’d be interested to talk about it if they do decide that they need a partner,” Pangilinan said.

Asked on partnerships in other industries, Pangilinan shot down the possibility of investing in JG Summit’s food and beverage, real estate and banking units.

“It’s not a value judgment on those industries. Those are businesses we’re just not good at,” he said.

Pangilinan was also mum on a possible investment in JG Summit’s budget airline Cebu Pacific.

The possible power-generation project with JG Summit comes after the group’s announcement that its principal, Hong Kong’s First Pacific Co. Ltd., and affiliate Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) had formed a joint venture to acquire a majority stake in GMR Infrastructure (Singapore) Pte., which owns a nearly completed 800-megawatt natural gas power plant in Singapore’s Jurong Island.

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