Pangilinan-led MPIC not interested in PAL

Lala Rimando
Manuel V. Pangilinan says Philippine Airlines would not fit in the infrastructure, telecommunications, and other businesses he leads

MANILA, Philippines – The Pangilinan-led infrastructure firm Metro Pacific Investment Inc. (MPIC) is more interested in airports than airlines.

In a press briefing on Thursday, March 1, MPIC chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan evaded questions on the reported counter offer they made to Lucio Tan for the tycoon’s stake in Philippine Airlines (PAL), the country’s only legacy carrier.

“It is difficult to argue that an airline – PAL or some other airline – would be an infra[structure] company,” he said.

When pressed PAL would fit the current industries his group is currently in, he replied, “For MPIC? No. Neither for PLDT.”

Pangilinan leads the Philippine investments of Hong Kong-based First Pacific Ltd, including MPIC, telecommunications Philippine Long Distance Company (PLDT), and Philex Mining Corp.

“We have characterized MPIC as an infrastructure company,” he said, adding that his group is keen on bidding for airports that the government would be auctioning off.

“We’d take a look at Mactan Cebu, which is up for bidding. That’s an infra project,” he said, referring to the airport facility in Visayas that the Aquino government has slated for an expansion as a Public-Private Partnership project.

PPP is the flagship infrastructure program of the Aquino government. The Cebu airport is covered by the pocket open skies policy of the administration as part of strategy to increase tourist arrivals.

MPIC’s Pangilinan was reported to have made a counter-offer to PAL’s controlling shareholder led by tycoon Tan after another conglomerate, San Miguel Corp, was reported to be negotiating with Tan. –


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