Friday, 13 November 2009

MPIC raises stake in Citra Tollways to 13%

Also set to infuse $123M in Skyway project
By Doris Dumlao
Philippine Daily Inquirer

METRO PACIFIC INVESTMENTS CORP. HAS STRUCK a deal with an Indonesian conglomerate to raise its stake in Citra Metro Manila Tollways Corp. (CMMTC)—operator of the Skyway—to 13 percent from two percent.

Citra Group of Indonesia controls 66 percent of CMMTC, of which 11 percent will be acquired by MPIC.

The company has also committed to invest about $123 million in the Skyway project—a third of which will be infused this year, MPIC president Jose Ma. Lim said in a briefing yesterday.

Lim told reporters after MPIC’s special stockholders meeting that the company would also buy CMMTC shares held by other investors.

CMMTC is a joint venture between Citra and the state-owned Philippine National Construction Corp. Apart from the PNCC, distressed asset manager Avenue Asia also has an 18-percent stake in CMMTC.

The MPIC term sheet with Citra group was scheduled for signing yesterday afternoon, Lim said.

The CMMTC consortium has already invested about $504 million in Skyway, which currently has daily vehicular traffic of about 180,000.

At present, CMMTC cash flow is estimated to range between P3.5 to P4 billion a year. This is expected to increase after the expansion program.

In 2008, CMMTC posted a net income of P1 billion.

The first phase of Skyway is the 9.3-km elevated expressway from Buendia, Makati to Bicutan, Parañaque, and the 13.5-km at-grade South Luzon Expressway from Magallanes to Alabang.

The second phase, currently under construction, is the 6.88-km. elevated expressway from Bicutan to Alabang.

MPIC officials said the acquisition of an economic interest in Skyway is part of its goal of building an efficient network of roads.

Also, MPIC’s unit Manila North Tollways Corp. (MNTC) is planning a P20-billion integrated rail and tollway joint venture with state-owned Philippine National Railways to link the expressways.

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