MPIC, DMCI to sell stakes in Maynilad for Marubeni entry

Rappler.com
Water concessionaire Maynilad Water Services Inc. may have a new foreign owner by next week.

MANILA, Philippines – Water concessionaire Maynilad Water Services Inc. may have a new foreign owner by next week.

The consortium of Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC) and DMCI Holdings Inc. that currently control Maynilad may sell up to 20% of their stake in the water firm to bring in Japanese firm Marubeni.

At the sidelines of the EuroMoney Philippine Investment Forum on Tuesday, March 27, DMCI Holdings president and chief executive Isidro Consunji said DMCI may sell 12% of its shareholdings in Maynilad, while the local unit of Hong Kong-based First Pacific Co. Ltd. will retain control with a dilution of 8%.

The negotiations with Marubeni are already in the “advanced stage,” according to MPIC president and chief executive Jose Ma. K. Lim with Consunji adding an agreement in principle may be reached next week.

The MPIC-DMCI consortium, which has a 92% stake in Maynilad, is looking to bring in Marubeni as a third strategic investor in the west zone concessionaire.

Consunji said the Japan International Cooperation Agency is offering a 40-year-loan loan at an interest rate of around 1%, but in return, the Japanese firm must own 20% of the enterprise.

“There are certain types of technology we don’t have here. We’ve had success on technology on leak reduction, but in the area of wastewater, Marubeni seems to be the potential investor,” said Lim.

“We have said earlier that we may have Japanese investors coming in, but the project has not been approved yet. Once it’s approved, everything will fall into place,” he added. – Rappler.com