San Miguel unit eyes controlling stake in Skyway

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A unit of diversifying conglomerate San Miguel Corporation is set to acquire 46% of the local unit of Indonesia-based Citra group that has a stake in the South Metro Manila Skyway, an elevated toll road that connects the capital to areas south of Metro Manila .

MANILA, Philippines – The Skyway toll road project is set to become the new addition to the infrastructure portfolio of diversifying conglomerate San Miguel Corp.

In a disclosure to the stock exchange on Dec. 14, San Miguel said it has accepted the invitation of the Citra Group of Indonesia to acquire 46% stake in its unit, Atlantic Aurum Inc.

Under their agreement, San Miguel Holdings Corp (SMHC), a wholly owned subsidiary of the conglomerate, has an option to acquire up to 51% of Atlantic at a later date.

Citra has a controlling equity interest in Citra Metro Manila Tollways Corp (CMMTC), which is the private concessionaire of the South Metro Manila Skyway Project, an elevated toll road that connects the capital to areas south of Metro Manila .

Currently, San Miguel has three projects under its infrastructure portfolio–Caticlan Airport, the Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway, and the MRT-7 Railway. They are in various stages of development.

Daang Hari road
The San Miguel and Citra business groups are no stranger to each other. Both have eyed the Daang Hari road project, a four-kilometer, four-lane paved toll road under the government’s public-private partnership project (PPP).

The diversifying conglomerate reportedly partnered with toll road operator Citra Lamtoro Gung Persada and Star Tollway Corp. to bid for Daang Hari.

Early this year, San Miguel said it was in talks with the Citra Group and Star Tollway for the possible organization and establishment of a company that will consolidate and undertake toll-road operations and participate in the infrastructure projects under the government’s PPP framework.

The conglomerate is set to face Ayala Corp., which allegedly teamed up with Spanish group Getinsa Ingineieria

The winning party will invest between P1.5 billion and P1.7 billion to develop the toll road and operate it under a 30-year concession.

Citra’s plans

This San Miguel disclosure, which was sent to the exchange after trading hours of Dec. 14, came a day after Citra announced that it is allotting $1.2 billion to invest in new road projects in the Philippines.   

At a press briefing on Dec 13, PT Citra Marga Marga Nsuaphala Persada president Shadik Wahono said the group is keen on participating in more road projects that are up for bidding.  

“We want to complete more strategic acquisitions in toll roads. We are here as a long-term operator and investor in the Philippines,” said Wahono.

He declined to identify which road projects the group is interested to undertake. “It will be announced before the year ends. I just have to disclose it in our stock exchange,” added Wahono.

The Aquino administration is preparing to hold an auction this year on the following road projects: Daang Hari South Luzon Expressway link road,  Cavite-Laguna Expressway, Naia Expressway, among others.
His group, he added, had also poured in $300 million in equity in Skyway stage3 project,  a 13-km elevated road that will run from Buendia in Makati to Balintawak in Quezon City, and stage 4 project more known as C-6, which is envisioned to be a 50-kilometer (km) semi-elevated road that will span from lower Bicutan all the way to Pasig then to Bulacan. It will traverse the cities and towns of Taytay, Marikina, San Mateo, Montalban,  Taguig,  

Wahono previously announced that the formation of the new company reflects the commitment of the group to provide quality toll roads for Filipino motorists.  The four companies comprising the Citra group are the PT Citra Marga Marga Nsuaphala Persada, Citra lamtoro Gung Persada, Bhaskara Duniajaya and Matra Sarana Arsitama.

Collectively, they are known as the Citra group in the Philippines.

Through this investment arm, the new company has secured the total funding required for both the acquisition of existing toll roads and building new toll roads. –

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