RAZON-LED Prime Infrastructure Holdings Corp. (Prime Infra) said it has strengthened its presence in the local water market after its Trident Water Co. Holdings Inc. recently acquired a controlling stake in east zone water concessionaire Manila Water Co., Inc.

“The acquisition of a controlling stake in Manila Water, a leading player in the water and wastewater industry in the region, is a major milestone in our efforts to grow our company and capture future demand both in the domestic and international markets,” Prime Infra President Guillaume Lucci said in a statement on Wednesday.

The company said the acquisition of control in Manila Water and its Wawa Bulk Water Supply Project in Rodriguez, Rizal, boosts its presence as the leading bulk water supplier and distribution utility operator in the country.

Further, Prime Infra said its management team will partner with existing Manila Water shareholders to find expansion opportunities in the Philippines and other countries.

“Manila Water, in addition to being the largest publicly-listed water company in the Philippines, also has a presence in four countries overseas, namely: Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia,” the company said.

According to Prime Infra Chairman Enrique K. Razon, Jr., the company is part of a dynamic and fast-growing group of companies that have successfully brought the Filipino brand internationally.

“It is then only a logical move for us to take the leap into becoming a global Filipino water company by focusing on strategic and scalable water businesses, leveraging on our group’s vast network, experience and resources,” Mr. Razon said.

On June 3, Mr. Razon was appointed chairman, president, and chief executive officer of Manila Water. His entry was finalized after the completion of Trident Water’s tender offer.

With the entry of Mr. Razon, Trident Water now has 51% voting interest in Manila Water while its economic stake is at 25%.

Meanwhile, Ayala Corp.’s direct and indirect economic interest in the water concessionaire is at 38.6% while its voting interest is at 31.6%.

Manila Water provides water and wastewater services in the eastern part of Metro Manila, which includes Marikina, Pasig, Taguig, Makati, San Juan, Mandaluyong, and portions of Quezon City and Manila, and Rizal province. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave