METRO PACIFIC Tollways Corp., (MPTC) the tollways unit of Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC), has sold a 10.32% stake in Indonesian infrastructure firm PT Margautama Nusantara (MUN) to a consortium of Japanese firms, the Metro Pacific group said on Tuesday.

In a disclosure to the stock exchange, MPIC said its tollways unit MPTC, through its wholly-owned subsidiary CIIF Infrastructure Holdings Sdn. Bhd. (CIIF), has entered into a share purchase agreement with Japan’s West Nippon Expressway (NEXCO-West), Japan Expressway International Co., Ltd., (EXWAY), and Japan Overseas Infrastructure Investment Corp. for Transport & Urban Development (JOIN).

The Japanese group acquired the 10.32% stake, valued at about $35 million, in MUN.

MPTC continues to hold majority shares in MUN through PT Nusantara Infrastructure Tbk, which the Philippine toll road operator controls through its wholly-owned Indonesian subsidiary PT Metro Pacific Tollways Indonesia (PT MPTI).

MPTC said it believes having the Japanese firms in MUN as “strategic partners will significantly contribute to the growth” of the Indonesian toll road operator.

“Their knowledge and capability in toll roads will be instrumental in identifying operational efficiencies and improvements. Each of JEXWAY and NEXCO-West are well-known for their extensive experience and expertise in operating and maintaining toll roads, while JOIN is the first and only government-private fund in Japan that specializes in overseas infrastructure investment,” it said.

MPTC took full control of MUN in September last year as it sought to further expand its toll road business outside the Philippines.

MPTC, through its Singaporean subsidiary Metro Pacific Tollways Asia Corp. Pte. Ltd. (MPT Asia), bought 100% equity interest in CIIF and CAIF III Infrastructure Holdings Sdn Bhd (CAIF III) in MUN. The transaction gave MPTC 100% total equity interest in MUN, as the remaining 74.98% of the company is owned by PT Nusantara Infrastructure Tbk.

MPIC is one of the 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. — Arjay L. Balinbin