THE Privatization and Management Office (PMO) of the Department of Finance (DoF) is taking offers for the negotiated sale of the government’s 20% stake in Tollways Management Corp. (TMC).

“The PMO, for and on behalf of the Republic of the Philippines, is offering for sale on an ‘as-is, where-is’ basis the 76,000 common shares owned by the Republic of the Philippines, equivalent to 20% of the issued and outstanding common shares, in the TMC,” the PMO said in a bulletin published in a newspaper Wednesday.

The government failed to dispose of its shares in an April auction.

The government has set the minimum base price for its shares at P2.58 billion, as approved by the Privatization Council (PrC).

The PMO said that qualified offerors “must submit an offer not lower than the said minimum base price.”

The government has also set the deadline for the submission of offers for March 6, 2020.

Required submissions to the PMO’s Disposition Committee include a letter of intent, a duly notarized confidentiality agreement, and payment of a non-refundable fee of P50,000.

“The opening and tabulation of offers will be done on the same date, immediately after the offer submission deadline,” the PMO said.

While the offer is open to all parties, shareholders of TMC have right of first refusal “in accordance with the company’s articles of incorporation and by-laws,” it added.

TMC is a subsidiary of Metro Pacific Tollways Corp. (MPTC), the tollways unit of Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC).

TMC is the MPTC subsidiary in charge of the operations and maintenance at the North Luzon Expressway (NLEx) and Subic Clark Tarlac Expressway (SCTEx).

MPIC is one of three key Philippine units of Hong Kong’s 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. — Arjay L. Balinbin