Megawide-GMR moves to save Naia rehab deal
The Megawide Construction Corp. and GMR Infrastructure consortium asked the government on Monday to reverse its recent decision to drop its proposal for Manila’s Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia) in a bid to save the P109-billion rehabilitation plan.
In a Dec. 21 letter to the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA), Megawide-GMR said the decision to revoke its primary rights, otherwise called an original proponent status (OPS), last Dec. 15 was based on an “incomplete set of facts”.
Moreover, Megawide-GMR asked for equal treatment and the chance to comply with the government’s requirements considering the last proponent, the Naia Consortium, was allowed more than two years to negotiate the terms before their proposal was withdrawn last July.
Megawide-GMR was given just five months. During this period, the venture faced political opposition and the sudden investigation of its Mactan Cebu International Airport (MCIA) over alleged anti-dummy charges.
“We look forward to continuing negotiations with the government and to developing a first-world Naia for every Filipino,” Megawide-GMR said in its letter appealing for the reinstatement of its OPS.
Megawide-GMR is proposing to significantly expand capacity at Naia over a 25-year concession.
“Naia, with its unique location, decades of history and the deep experience of its employees, continues to be our country’s key airport,” the consortium said.
Megawide-GMR said in the letter that the MIAA board failed to consider its additional submissions on Nov. 20 and Dec. 1 before voting to revoke its OPS.
The submissions pertain to the company’s compliance with the government’s demand for proof of financial capacity. This reason was not originally indicated in the MIAA board’s letter revoking its OPS but was instead revealed during a subsequent Senate hearing last Dec. 17.
Responding to the National Economic and Development Authority’s Investment Coordination Committee requirements showing financial capacity, Megawide took two steps.
It convinced GMR to take a 40-percent stake in the venture, significantly easing its financial burden, and completed a successful sale of preferred shares in late November.
This allowed Megawide to meet the revised P19.57-billion equity requirement in the project through its own net worth of about P18 billion plus a deposit of P1.58 billion coming from the share sale.
As for GMR, the group has a net worth of P78.6 billion, well above the equity requirement of P13 billion.
The rest of the project will be funded by debt, Megawide-GMR said.
“The decision should be reconsidered in light of new and material information addressing the very issue prompting MIAA’s decision,” Megawide-GMR said in its letter.
But following the revocation of its OPS, two new names have emerged as contenders in Naia.
These are Philippine Airport Ground Support Solutions Inc., led by businessman Jefferson Cheng, and food, drinks and infrastructure conglomerate San Miguel Corp. INQ
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