MEGAWIDE Construction Corp. said it has received inquiries from investors and banks seeking to participate in its proposed P109 billion Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) rehabilitation project.

In a virtual briefing Friday, Megawide Construction Corp. Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Edgar B. Saavedra said the company has been approached by potential investors and financial institutions.

“We received a lot of inquiries, a lot of interested parties not only from the bank side, but even on the equities side, investors, and even (from) offshore,” Mr. Saavedra said.

“In the portfolio of investors we have in Megawide right now, more than half are infrastructure funds. And some of them are strategic investors. All of them are excited,” he added.

Mr. Saavedra said investors have been supportive and are waiting for the rehabilitation of NAIA to happen, noting that the company is being counted on to increase the congested hub’s ultimate carrying capacity.

“They know we can expand that. And they know that we’re the only company who has this capability,” Mr. Saavedra said.

Until the government gives the final go-ahead for the project, Megawide Director Manuel Louie B. Ferrer said it cannot start formal talks with the potential backers.

“At this stage, we cannot formally talk to them yet. Maybe next year, we’ll start talking to them formally,” Mr. Ferrer said.

Megawide said it projects to spend P12 billion for the first phase of the rehabilitation project and P20 billion for the second phase, which will happen in the first three to four years of implementation.

Some of the plans for NAIA’s rehabilitation project include enhancements to airside and landside facilities; a new passenger terminal building; apron and taxi lane improvements; an elevated railway; and a bus rapid transit service.

On Nov. 17, Megawide said it expects the Swiss challenge for the NAIA rehabilitation project to be completed by the first three months of 2021.

The Swiss challenge give an original project proponent the option to match or exceed offers put forward by other bidding groups.

Megawide said it raised P4.36 billion in a preferred-share offering, with the proceeds to support its expansion plans.

In a listing ceremony Friday, Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) President and Chief Executive Officer Ramon S. Monzon said the proceeds of the share issue will be applied to the rehabilitation of NAIA and the development of Megawide’s Mactan-Cebu International Airport and Parañaque Integrated Terminal Exchange Lot 2, among others.

“These projects will be greatly beneficial to tourists and the commuting public once completed. It will also further solidify the company’s foothold in the airport and landport development and operation sphere,” Mr. Monzon said.

Megawide’s Mr. Saavedra said the fund-raising exercise is a big step in diversifying its business.

“Our construction business has diversified to take on private-sector projects as well as various future industrial and infrastructure developments. We plan to replicate our landport model in other key cities to provide traffic management solutions and comfort to our public commuters,” Mr. Saavedra said.

RCBC Capital Corp. and PNB Capital and Investment Corp. were the company’s joint lead underwriters for the offering.

In September, the construction firm said it filed an application with the PSE to issue P3 billion new preferred shares, with an oversubscription option of up to P2 billion.

Megawide posted a net loss of P321.16 million in the third quarter.

The company said revenue for the third quarter fell 52% to P2.62 billion. Contracting revenue fell 41% to P2.55 billion, while airport operations revenue fell 87% to P115.91 million.
On Friday, Megawide shares rose 2.27% to P9.47 apiece. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave