THE logistics unit of Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC) will be setting aside P8 billion for the development of warehouses in Cavite, as it aims to become a leading player in the logistics space.
In a disclosure to the stock exchange on Monday, MPIC said its wholly-owned subsidiary Metropac Movers, Inc. (MMI) has signed the deal with Property Company of Friends (ProFriends) to buy 202,000 square meters (sq.m.) of land worth P1.2 billion in General Trias.
ProFriends is one of the property firms under tycoon George S.K. Ty’s conglomerate, GT Capital Holdings, Inc., which in turn is the second largest shareholder of MPIC.
MMI has allocated P8 billion “to develop the property into 141,000 square meters of covered warehouse space and purchase the equipment to service its clients.”
“The property… will be used by MMI to develop and manage distribution centers for its existing and potential clients in the fast moving consumer goods, consumer durables, automotive and e-commerce spaces,” MPIC said.
In addition, MMI plans to purchase another 300,000 sq.m. of land in Bulacan.
MPIC said the completion of the warehouses can provide employment to around 7,000 residents of Cavite and Bulacan. To-date, MMI employs about 2,400 people under its existing warehouses and owned trucks.
The company currently has 207,000 sq.m. of leased warehouse space across the country.
These warehouses will complement the 522 new trucks acquired by MMI in the fourth quarter of 2017.
“These resources…will be utilized by MMI to build the leading logistics firm in the Country, the first choice of existing and future clients for their logistics needs — “the ONE logistics company”. It will fulfill a much needed function in today’s fragmented logistics market where resources to efficiently track and deliver goods to all parts of the Philippine Archipelago are still lacking,” MPIC said.
The listed conglomerate has been ramping up its investments in the logistics industry, announcing earlier this year that it is on the look out for two to three logistics firms this year. It is currently in the closing stages of acquiring transport and logistics solutions provider Air21.
MPIC grew its core profit by 16% to P3.6 billion during the first quarter of 2018, following a 68% jump in gross revenues to P19.4 billion.
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.
Shares in MPIC shed 17 centavos or 3.41% to close at P4.82 each at the Philippine Stock Exchange on Monday. — Arra B. Francia