THE logistics unit of Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC) has completed its acquisition of a 12% stake in logistics services provider Air21, in line with its goal to become the leading player in the sector within the next two years.
Metropac Movers, Inc. (MMI) President and Chief Executive Officer Marilyn V. Aquino said it has sealed the deal for a minority share in Air21 last July, adding the company has the option to further raise its ownership to as high as 100% in the future.
“12% is an entry point to understand the business more… Until we know the complexity of the business and the major challenges, then we can raise it… We have been granted certain rights to increase our stake. There is no cap,” Ms. Aquino told reporters during a media briefing organized by its parent in Makati City yesterday.
The acquisition is part of the infrastructure conglomerate’s goal to ramp up its investments in the logistics sector, in a bid to keep up with the rising e-commerce industry and need for more warehousing spaces in the country.
“The focus of this business is to provide our FMCG (fast-moving consumer goods) clients with first class transportation, warehousing, and other order fulfillment as we broaden our service offering to include cross docking and cold chain services,” MPIC said in a statement.
Ms. Aquino said MMI is boosting its warehousing capacity in the next two years. The company is currently in discussions with partners to build a six-hectare warehouse in Davao.
“We have a partner that owns a 10-hectare warehouse in Davao. When this six-hectare facility is finalized and agreed upon then we could have a strong presence in Davao,” Ms. Aquino said.
MMI recently announced that it is investing P8 billion to expand its warehousing spaces. This includes the acquisition of 200,000 square meters of land in Cavite, which will be converted into 141,000 sq.m of covered warehouse space. The company will further purchase 300,000 sq.m of land in Bulacan.
MPIC President and Chief Executive Officer Jose Ma. K. Lim noted the logistics unit’s strategy is to build warehouses as demanded by its clients. It takes the company around six months to finish a facility.
In addition to warehousing, MMI will also invest in the construction of cold storage facilities.
“We’re going to be discussing partnerships with several existing cold storage facility firms… (it takes) around two years to build cold storage facilities (located) in the north and south,” Ms. Aquino said.
The company, which started commercial operations two years ago, expects to be profitable by 2019. — Arra B. Francia