METRO PACIFIC Tollways Corp. (MPTC) is looking to tap local and foreign banks as it seeks to raise fresh funds after putting its planned initial public offering (IPO) on hold, its top official said.
“The general outlook is we need to raise money to reduce our debt level. The problem is our debt level is huge — we have the highest level in MPIC, even higher than Meralco (Manila Electric Co.),” Rogelio L. Singson, president and chief executive officer of MPTC, told reporters on the sidelines of a forum last week.
MPTC, the tollways unit of Pangilinan-led Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC), earlier said it will defer its IPO to 2025 as the company studies its options amid a plan to form a joint venture company with San Miguel Corp. (SMC).
MPIC earlier announced it was planning to list MPTC on the stock market after its delisting from the Philippine Stock Exchange in October.
The joint venture company with SMC to build expressways could be the candidate to list at the Philippine Stock Exchange.
“Our (debt) level is about P145 billion to P150 billion but as we finish where revenues are coming, we’re able to pay off. That is why we are looking at IPO or strategic investors,” Mr. Singson said.
With the company postponing its planned IPO to 2025, the company is looking at tapping foreign and local banks, Mr. Singson said, adding that it needs to raise about 30% of its debt or between P40 billion to P45 billion.
Asked whether the MPTC is looking at a bond issuance, Mr. Singson said: “In what form, I do not know yet, but we need to raise funds to gap our debt level before the IPO.”
“We need to reserve a portion for IPO. If we need to raise P45 billion, half of that will be from strategic investors, half IPO. We want the public to share,” he added.
MPTC is the tollways unit of MPIC, one of three key Philippine units of Hong Kong-based First Pacific Co. Ltd., the others being Philex Mining Corp. and PLDT, Inc.
Hastings Holdings, Inc., a unit of PLDT Beneficial Trust Fund subsidiary MediaQuest Holdings, Inc., has a majority stake in BusinessWorld through the Philippine Star Group, which it controls. — A.E.O. Jose