MPTC takes full control of MUN

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METRO PACIFIC Tollways Corp. (MPTC) has taken full control of Indonesian infrastructure firm PT Margautama Nusantara (MUN) as it seeks to further expand its toll road business outside the Philippines.

Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC) told the stock exchange yesterday its tollways unit MPTC — through Singaporean subsidiary Metro Pacific Tollways Asia Corp. Pte. Ltd. (MPT Asia) — bought 100% equity interest in CIIF Infrastructure Holdings Sdn Bhd (CIIF) and CAIF III Infrastructure Holdings Sdn Bhd (CAIF III) in MUN.

MPTC acquired an aggregate 24.98% interest in MUN: 20% from CIIF and 4.98% from CAIF III. It bought a total of 2,124,841 shares from the two companies for $67 million (approximately P3.44 billion), which will be fully paid upon closing of the transaction.

The transaction gives MPTC 100% total equity interest in MUN, as the remaining 74.98% of the company is owned by PT Nusantara Infrastructure Tbk, which MPTC controls through its wholly owned Indonesian subsidiary PT Metro Pacific Tollways Indonesia (PT MPTI).

Late last year, PT MPTI raised its stake in PT Nusantara to 75.89% after increasing it earlier in 2018 to 53.26%, which gave the company control of the Indonesian firm.

MPIC said the recent transaction giving MPTC 100% control of MUN “is expected to enhance (its) profitability and strengthen (its) balance sheet.” MUN is a private Indonesian firm in the business of building and operating toll roads, with four expressways currently in its portfolio.

Aside from its growing presence in Indonesia, MPTC has footprint in Thailand through a 29.45% stake in Don Muang Tollway Public Co. Ltd. and in Vietnam through a 44.9% stake in CII Bridges and Roads.

Locally, the company operates some of the biggest toll ways in and out of Metro Manila, such as North Luzon Expressway (NLEx), Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway and Manila-Cavite Expressway.

It is also building the Cavite-Laguna Expressway, the Cebu-Cordova Link Expressway and the NLEx-South Luzon Expressway Connector Road.

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. — Denise A. Valdez