MetroPac Water gains a foothold in Vietnam

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METRO PACIFIC Investments Corp. (MPIC) has expanded its footprint in Vietnam with the acquisition of a significant interest in a water company.

In a disclosure to the stock exchange on Monday, the infrastructure conglomerate announced that subsidiary MetroPac Water Investments Corp. executed a share purchase agreement (SPA) to secure 49% of Tuan Loc Water Resources Investment Joint Stock Co. (TLW) for P1.988 billion.

The completion of the transaction is subject to certain closing conditions. Under the SPA, the parties have until June 30, 2018 to close the deal.

One of the largest water companies in Vietnam, TLW has an operating capacity of 310 million liters per day (MLD) and a billed volume of approximately 87 MLD as of end 2017. Majority of its capacity is supplied to industrial parks.

TLW’s main project assets are treatment plants in Dong Nai Province, the manufacturing satellite of Ho Chi Minh City and the location of the new Long Thanh International Airport, and Nghe An Province, the largest province in Vietnam by area and has a population of about 3.1 million people.

The investment allowed MPIC to expand its business in Vietnam where it acquired a 45% stake in water company BOO Phu Ninh Water Treatment Plant Joint Stock Company (PNW) for P615 million last November.

Metro Pacific, with the expertise of its unit Maynilad Water Services, Inc., has been looking to expand its water venture in Southeast Asia.

The local conglomerate has been broadening its presence in the region, led by the tollways group which has invested in Thailand, Vietnam and Indonesia in line with plans to establish a Pan-ASEAN company.

MPIC reported a 17% rise in consolidated core net income to P14.1 billion last year from P12.1 billion in 2016 despite regulatory uncertainty as a result of delays in tariff hikes.

Earnings got a boost from an expanded power portfolio following further investment in Beacon Electric Asset Holdings, Inc., significant traffic growth on all roads held by Metro Pacific Tollways Corp.; and continuing growth in the hospital group.

MPIC is one of three Philippine units of Hong Kong-based First Pacific Co. Ltd., the others being PLDT, Inc. and Philex Mining Corp. Hastings Holdings, Inc. — a unit of PLDT Beneficial Trust Fund subsidiary MediaQuest Holdings, Inc. — maintains interest in BusinessWorld through the Philippine Star Group, which it controls.

Shares in MPIC added 11 centavos or 2.10% to settle at P5.35 each. — Krista Angela M. Montealegre