SMC seeks partner for Naia Expressway project
San Miguel Corp. (SMC) is in talks with a South Korean firm for a possible partnership for the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia) Expressway project, which the conglomerate won in a bidding last month.
SMC president and chief operating officer Ramon S. Ang said the new investor could enter with a stake of as much as 40 percent in the project. The partner is expected to help shoulder the cost of construction and to bring in technical expertise.
“We can sell 30 or 40 percent of the project, even at a premium,” Ang told reporters at a recent press conference.
“This proves that we bought at the right price,” he added.
In bidding for the Naia Expressway deal, SMC bested corporate rival Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC). To win the deal, SMC offered the government an up-front payment of P11 billion, which would go on top of the project’s estimated project cost of P16 billion.
MPIC also offered an up-front payment but the amount was much lower at P350 million. Both firms had the choice to take in subsidies for the project from Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor), but neither took the option.
Pagcor offered subsidies for the project since it would benefit the Entertainment City in Pasay, the country’s new center for gaming.
The Naia Expressway project is the second phase of a road network that would link all three of Manila’s airport passenger terminals by toll roads. The first phase of the Naia highway was completed by Citra Metro Manila Tollways Corp., Skyway’s current concessionaire, through the construction of an off-ramp that leads to the front of the Naia Terminal 3. Citra is also controlled by SMC.
Phase 2 of the project involves the construction of an overhead tollroad that will start from Sales Avenue going to Andrews Avenue, Domestic Road, MIA (Manila International Airport) Road and end on Roxas Boulevard. The road will be 5.2 kilometers long and it will have four lanes and five on-ramps and off-ramps.
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