INFRASTRUCTURE conglomerate Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC) is in talks with the owners of Discovery World Corp. for a “potential investment.”

“There are ongoing discussions with the Tiu family for a potential investment in Discovery World Corp. and/or its subsidiaries,” MPIC said in a disclosure to the stock exchange on Monday.

“However, no definitive agreement has been signed to date. We will inform the Exchange and the investing public in the event any disclosable transaction is signed,” it added.

Without mentioning MPIC, Discovery World said in a separate disclosure: “As… the company is proceeding with the development of its various projects, it is open to investor groups who are supportive of such projects.”

Discovery World, a subsidiary of holding company JTKC Equities, Inc., is engaged in the hotel and resort business under the names and styles of Discovery Boracay, Discovery Shores, Platitos Resto-Bar, Sands Lounge, Indigo Resto-Bar, Sunken Pool Bar, Forno Osteria, Estate XI, and 360 Roof Lounge.

“A few parties have expressed interest, however, these are at their early stages of discussion,” Discovery World added, noting that there are no discussions of “any complete control” of the company.

Among its wholly owned companies are Euro-Pacific Resorts, Inc., Discovery Fleet Corp., Cay Islands Corp., Palawan Cove Corp., Sonoran Corp., Long Beach Property Holdings, Inc., Lucky Cloud 9 Resort, Inc., and Balay Holdings, Inc.

MPIC used to invest in the real estate business. It exited in 2014 after it divested from Landco Pacific Corp., the developer of the Peninsula de Punta Fuego, an exclusive seaside residential resort in Nasugbu, Batangas. 

MPIC sold all its holdings in property developer Rockwell Land Corp. to the Lopez group in 2012.

The conglomerate also sold in early 2014 its entire stake in NE Pacific Shopping Center Corp. — owner of a commercial area in Nueva Ecija — to Cosco Capital, Inc.

It sold its interest in Fort Bonifacio Development Corp. in 2001.

MPIC shares closed 5.26% lower at P3.78 apiece on Monday.

MPIC is one of three key Philippine units of First Pacific, 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