MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – The Ayala and Aboitiz business groups, both eyeing an expansion into the commercial aviation infrastructure business, have added a new partner in their consortium that will vie for the international airport terminal project in Mactan, Cebu, the country’s second busiest gateway
On Friday, December 7, Ayala Corp. and Aboitiz Land made separate disclosures to the Philippine Stock Exchange that they have signed a memorandum of understanding with ADC & HAS Airports, Inc, a US-based company “engaged in investment, development and operation of airports around the world,” including those in the US, Latin America, and Asia.
“It brings with it the operational strength and technical resources of Houston Airport System (HAS) and the airport privatization and development experience of Airport Development Corp (ADC),” Ayala Corp told the exchange.
In a separate press statement, Ayala said the airports ADC & HAS operates 3 airports in the US that handle a total of 50 million passengers every year, making it North America’s 4th largest airport operator.
ADC & HAS’s portfolio also includes airports in Quito, Ecuador that serves over 5 million passengers and the one in San Jose, Costa Rica that has over 3.6 million passengers. It also operates airports in Liberia, Costa Rica and the Chungcheong Northern Province in South Korea.
Describing ADC&HAS as “one of the most dynamic developers and operators of airports in the world,” Aboitiz Equity Ventures President and CEO Erramon Aboitiz added that “we’re confident that our alliance with ADC&HAS will allow us to develop a world-class airport facility in Mactan that all Filipinos will be proud of.”
“[ADC&HAS’] experience and success in building and operating world-class airports in multiple emerging markets under a PPP concession framework make them a highly suitable partner for a project like this,” said Ayala President & Chief Operating Officer Fernando Zobel de Ayala.
For his part, ADC & HAS President & CEO Jeffrey Schefferman stressed that “we were very focused and deliberate in our initial due diligence process as we wanted to ensure that our consortium brought to bear the full range and depth of experiences and the financial wherewithal required to achieve success over the long-term.”
The consortium will bid for the rehabilitation and construction of the Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA) Passenger Terminal.
According to the goverment, the Phase 1 of the project will be worth P17.5 billion, up from the previous P8 billion to P10 billion cost range. It will be completed between 2014 and 2016.
It was already approved by the National Economic and Development Authority (Neda) board last week for bidding on a certain date, which has yet to be set by the Transportation department.
The project, which grants a 20-year concession, will involve the construction of a world-class passenger terminal building with capacity to carry 8 million passengers a year, as well as the operation and maintenance of the old and new facilities. It aims to minimize passenger delay by reducing passenger terminal waiting time.
The partners will likely go against other interested business groups, including the Manuel V. Pangilinan-led Metro Pacific Investments Corp. and San Miguel Corp.
In a separate disclosure on December 7, San Miguel confirmed the statements of its president and COO Ramon Ang to Filipino reporters in Toronto regarding its interest in the Mactan airport project.
“The company intends to participate in the bidding of all Public-Private Partnership projects of the government, including airport rehabilitation and other infrastructure projects,” San Miguel said. – Rappler.com