MVP open to more deals with Gokongweis

Katherine Visconti

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Pangilinan said the Gokongweis once approached him about a possible power project in Batangas and he is open to partnering with them on it

MORE DEALS? The Pangilinan and Gokongwei groups are exploring partnership opportunities, particularly in the power sector. Gokongwei's photo via his Facebook page, Pangilinan's photo via AFP.

MANILA, Philippines – Businessman Manuel V. Pangilinan is open to forging even closer ties with John Gokongwei’s JG Summit Holdings Inc., especially on a potential power project.

Pangilinan and Gokongwei are together in an airport consortium they hope will win the bid for the government’s P17.5-billion Mactan Cebu International Airport Project.

The two men also struck a game-changing partnership in telecommunications when Pangilinan-chaired Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT) acquired Gokongwei’s Digital Telecommunications Philippines Inc. (Digitel), placing John’s brother James Go in a long-coveted seat on PLDT’s board.

And power generation, an area where Pangilinan-led Manila Electric Co. is expanding into, could be next for the two groups.

“As you know they sit on the board of PLDT, so apart from the Cebu Mactan Airport and the telco, there are other opportunities that could arise in the course of this relationship with the Gokongwei group,” said Pangilinan at a March 5 press briefing.

He added that while it would be “premature” to elaborate on potential new deals, he sees an opportunity if the Gokongweis pursue a power project in Batangas. The Gokongweis are investing $700 million to $800 million in a Batangas petrochemical plant, which they expect to become the fourth core contributor to their conglomerate, which mainly rests on the 3 legs of aviation, food and property. 

“The Gokongweis’ plans appear to involve the construction of a power plant in Batangas in conjunction with their petrochemical project there. I think that’s already built and they’re planning to expand that. I’m not privy at all to the details of their plans,” said Pangilinan.

“At one point that was broached [with] us, the possibility of the power project out there in Batangas. But there are no ongoing discussions… If they do decide to proceed with the power plant, I think we would be interested in talking to them (to see) if they will allow us to partner with them,” he added.

Pangilinan flatly ruled out the possibility of venturing into retail trade, real estate or banking, even with a partner, but seemed optimistic about the relationship with his new business ally Gokongwei might lead. –

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