MPIC secures infra foothold in Vietnam
THE TOLL road unit of infrastructure holding firm Metro Pacific Investments Corp. has gained a foothold in Vietnam, sealing a deal to acquire a 45-percent stake in CII Bridges and Roads Investment Joint Stock Co. (CII B&R), an urban infrastructure developer in Ho Chi Minh City.
MPIC, through Metro Pacific Tollroads Corp., will invest around 1.95 trillion Vietnamese dong ($90.6 million) in the form of 30 million CII B&R shares, alongside bonds that may be converted into 56.67 million shares of the company.
This equity and financing transaction with the controlling stockholder, Ho Chi Minh City Infrastructure Investment Joint Stock Co. (CII), will enable MPTC to secure a 45-percent interest in CII B&R following the purchase of secondary shares and subscription to dong-denominated bonds to be issued by CII. The bonds may be converted into secondary shares in CII B&R.
The deal formally marks MPIC’s foray into Vietnam, where the group led by businessman Manuel V. Pangilinan embarked on a three-day mission in 2012 to scout for investment opportunities, particularly toll road and water services. Growing demand for basic services in this Southeast Asian country prompted Pangilinan’s group to look closely at developing infrastructure partnerships there.
Listed on the Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange since 2006, CII B&R is into infrastructure development, specializing in civil, industrial, traffic and drainage construction, as well as ground leveling. It is behind the Hanoi Highway expansion, among others. Based on its website, CII B&R is also engaged in fresh water production, real estate and financial investment consultancy.
It was earlier reported that MPIC would be looking for opportunities in mining, hospitals, power, media, food and agribusiness in Vietnam.
Also, MPIC is looking at other investment opportunities across Southeast Asia, particularly in Thailand and Indonesia.
Last year, MPIC raised its interest in Thai toll road operator Don Muang Tollway Public Co. Ltd. (DMT) to 29.45 percent, from 7.36 percent, by buying out the indirect stake held by parent conglomerate First Pacific Co. Ltd.
Through power affiliate Manila Electric Co. and in partnership with First Pacific, MPIC has also invested in PacificLight Power Co. Ltd.—formerly GMR Energy (Singapore) Pte. Ltd.—which also owns the 800-megawatt liquefied natural gas power plant on Jurong Island, Singapore.
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