SMC pact holds up debut plan of MPIC’s toll road unit
MANILA -The planned initial public offering of Metro Pacific Investments Corp.’s (MPIC) toll road arm may be delayed for about a year as it evaluates a potential joint venture (JV) with San Miguel Corp. (SMC).
Rogelio Singson, president and CEO of Metro Pacific Tollways Corp. (MPTC), told reporters the company was targeting to go public by 2025, a year later than what was first announced by MPIC Chair Manuel Pangilinan.
But recent talks of possibly establishing a mega tollway company led by billionaires Pangilinan and SMC President and CEO Ramon Ang have altered the public listing’s trajectory.
“As far as MPTC is concerned, we were ready to go IPO after the delisting of MPIC,” Singson said. MPIC, to recall, exited the local bourse in October after conducting a tender offer.
Singson said they would have to check the books and undergo a third-party assessment for the transaction with SMC before launching the fund-raising activity.
Might go public
He also did not discount the possibility of the joint venture juggernaut going public.
Pangilinan earlier told the media that a publicly listed JV with Ang was the ideal step after teaming up for a P72-billion toll road project in Southern Tagalog. This includes the 88-kilometer Cavite-Batangas Expressway (CBEx) and Nasugbu-Bauan Expressway (NBEX).
In August, MPIC and SMC inked a memorandum of agreement to design, build and operate the CBEx and NBEx, which are slated for groundbreaking next year. The toll roads will traverse Silang, Amadeo, Tagaytay, Indang, Mendez and Alfonso in Cavite and will link motorists to Nasugbu and Bauan in Batangas.
Singson stressed the team-up of the two giants would not stifle competition, a key factor in improving services and products for the public.
He explained the toll roads operated by both companies were not the sole infrastructure available to the public. “They (motorists) may or may not use the expressway. There are free roads.”
MPTC’s portfolio includes North Luzon Expressway (NLEx), NLEx Connector, Cavite-Laguna Expressway, Manila-Cavite Expressway, Subic-Clark Tarlac Expressway and Cebu-Cordova Link Expressway.
SMC, meanwhile, holds concessions for South Luzon Expressway, Skyway, Naia Expressway, Star Tollway and Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway.