Sumitomo buys into MPIC’s railway business
Infrastructure holding firm Metro Pacific Investments Corp. has taken Japanese conglomerate Sumitomo Corp. as a strategic partner in its elevated railway business in the metropolis.
Sumitomo has acquired a 34.9 percent stake in MPIC’s subsidiary that holds an effective 55 percent stake in Light Rail Manila Corporation (LRMC), which holds a concession to operate, maintain and extend the 20.7-kilometer Light Railway Transit 1 (LRT-1).
The 32-year concession to operate this vital rail infratstructure – which runs from Monumento in Caloocan to Baclaran – started in 2015. Currently with 20 stations, LRMC has started works on the extension of the system to Cavite.
“MPIC welcomes Sumitomo as a strategic stakeholder in the LRT1 project along with its current partners AC Infrastructure Holdings Corp. and Macquarie Investments Holdings (Philippines) Ltd.,” said MPIC chair Manuel V. Pangilinan.
“This investment by Sumitomo is a welcome illustration in their belief in the future of this project. We are all eager to resume operations of LRT-1 when the current extended quarantine is released”.
Eita Fujikawa, Sumitomo’s general manager for transportation systems and infrastructure business department expressed optimism on the partnership with MPIC and the investment in the LRT1 project, adding this would be an opportunity to contribute to the development of rail infrastructure in the Philippines.
“Sumitomo is keen to share our 100 years-worth of global investment and operational experience. We are confident that our investment and expertise will provide the support the expanding Manila public transit infrastructure needs to grow, and to bring local communities even closer through the Cavite extension. We thank MPIC for this unique opportunity and we look forward to many years of future investment in the Philippines,” Fujikawa said.
“This transaction is a testament of our shareholders’ dedication to further improve LRMC. Sumitomo’s investment will significantly contribute to the efficiency of our current operations and assist us as we continue heavy works on the Cavite extension. The investment helps us further enhance the ridership experience of our passengers and will support to ensure that we deliver Phase 1 of the Cavite extension as fast as possible. We are excited to have Sumitomo onboard,” said Juan Alfonso, LRMC President and CEO.
Macquarie Capital and SyCip Salazar Hernandez & Gatmaitan acted as advisors of MPIC.
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