Tuesday, 13 April 2010

SMC takes majority of Caticlan airport

By JAMES A. LOYOLA
Manila Bulletin
http://www.mb.com.ph/articles/252297/smc-takes-majority-caticlan-airport

San Miguel Holdings Corporation, a wholly-owned subsidiary of conglomerate San Miguel Corporation (SMC), has executed a share sale purchase agreement to initially acquire a majority interest in Caticlan International Airport Development Corporation (CIADC).

In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange Monday, SMC said the agreement was signed with the consortium of George T. Yang, Rafael P. Puno, Lino A. Barte, and RPRP Ventures Management and Development Corporation.

SMC has earlier disclosed that it was in talks with the consortium led by fastfood chain and property developer tycoon George Yang for the acquisition of up to a 51 percent equity interest in CIADC.

CIADC holds the exclusive rights, obligations and privileges to finance, design, construct, operate and maintain the Caticlan Airport by virtue of the Concession Agreement with the government through the Department of Transportation and Communications and the Civil Aviation Authority.

SMC said closing of the Agreement is subject to certain conditions and an appropriate disclosure shall be made upon satisfaction of such conditions.

CIADC has a 25-year concession for the P2.5-billion Caticlan project the first privatization of an airport terminal in the Philippines.

The project also has a commercial component that entails the development of a 16-hectare property beside the airport. This peripheral project is estimated to cost P10 billion.

The upgrading involves the construction of a bigger airport passenger terminal, extension of the existing runway from 950 meters to 2,100 meters to accommodate bigger aircraft, improvement of the road network, and upgrading of airport facilities and air traffic control aids.

The proponents have also committed to build other support utilities, install fire-fighting equipment and construct a diversion road.

The project is based on a build-rehabilitate-operate-transfer agreement. CIADC has up to seven years to build and expand the airport and 25 years to operate the facilities.

All revenues will go to CIADC except for earnings from the operation and maintenance of navigation systems, which would go to the DoTC.

Once finished, CIADC expects fares to be more competitive for passengers since airlines can use aircraft with more seating capacity than the turbo-propellers that are mostly being used today.

A modernized Caticlan airport is also targeted to serve as an international gateway not only to Boracay but also to the rest of the Visayas.

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