THE consortium led by IRC Properties, Inc. can now proceed with its $3.7-billion Makati Subway System project, after securing the nod of the Makati City government.
In a disclosure to the stock exchange on Tuesday, the listed firm led by businessman Antonio L. Tiu said it has received the notice of award from Makati’s Public-Private Partnership Committee for the construction and operation of the 11-kilometer subway through a joint venture agreement.
The consortium, which includes IRC and Chinese partners Greenland Holdings Group, Jiangsu Provincial Construction Group Co. Ltd., Holdings Ltd., and China Harbour Engineering Company Ltd., is the original proponent for the project. There were no competing bids submitted during the Swiss challenge. “The company shall, in due course, inform the public through a disclosure the schedule of commencement of operations, including ground breaking activities,” IRC said.
The Makati Subway System will have eight to 10 underground stations in key areas such as Ayala Avenue, Makati City Hall, Poblacion Heritage Site, University of Makati, and Ospital ng Makati.
To be built at no cost to the government, the consortium expects to accommodate up to 700,000 passengers per day aboard six car trains with a capacity of about 200 people each.
The subway will also have provisions to be interlinked with other mass transport systems such as the Metro Rail Transit Line 3, the Pasig River ferry, and the proposed Metro Manila Mega Subway.
The Makati City government earlier said the project is scheduled for groundbreaking by December, with completion targeted for 2025.
To support its foray into infrastructure, IRC increased its authorized capital stock to P19.5 billion, consisting of 9.5 billion common shares with a par value of P1 per share and one billion preferred shares with a par value of P10 per share.
The company said the shares may be issued through private placement, preemptive rights offering, or other such agreements.
In a separate disclosure, IRC said it signed subscription agreements with two companies on Tuesday, allowing it to raise P4.97 billion in fresh capital.
Aggregate Business Group Holdings, Inc. (ABG), which already holds a 26.94% stake in IRC prior to the agreement, further subscribed to 4.15 billion common shares in the company at P1.10 apiece, for a total of P4.56 billion.
Auspicious One-Belt-One-Road Fund (AOF) meanwhile subscribed to 368.18 million common shares in the company at the same price, amounting to P404.99 million.
The shares were taken from the increase in IRC’s outstanding capital stock.
The Philippine Stock Exchange suspended trading of IRC shares following the disclosure, explaining that the transaction is covered by rules on backdoor listing. Prior to being suspended, IRC shares jumped 3.1% or eight centavos to P2.66 each. — Arra B. Francia