MANILA, Philippines – Metro Pacific Tollways Development Corporation (MPTDC), a unit of infrastructure giant Metro Pacific Investments Corporation (MPIC), is spending P103 million ($2.36 million) to acquire a stake in the Philippine unit of French engineering firm Egis Group.
The company bought a 50% plus one share in Egis’ Easytrip Services Corporation (ESC), MPIC Vice President Melody del Rosario said in a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange Tuesday, July 1.
The stake was equivalent to 100,001 ESC shares, which were bought at P1,030 ($23.62) apiece.
Out of the total shares, 87,000 were fully paid for on June 30, while the remaining shares, to be acquired from Egis Easytrip Services S.A., will be settled upon completion of the relevant conditions, including corporate approvals and execution of a shareholders’ agreement.
“The acquisition will allow MPTDC and Egis to combine their expertise in managing and expanding the business of ESC,” Del Rosario told the exchange.
ESC acquires and develops equipment and software to facilitate electronic tolling of roads and other facilities. It also sells, leases, licenses, installs, operates, and maintains such equipment and software and manages commercial relationships with users of such facilities. ESC has experience in electronic toll collection systems around the world.
The partnership between EGIS and MPIC, through Manila North Tollways Corporation, began in June 1994, when both parties decided to co-develop the 90-km North Luzon Expressway (NLEX).
RFID at work
Meanwhile, MPIC’s Metro Pacific Tollways Corporation launched the country’s first application of radio frequency identification (RFID) technology dubbed “EasyDrive” at the 14-km Manila-Cavite Expressway (Cavitex) on June 24.
Modern toll roads in the US, Canada, Taiwan, and some parts of Europe use RFID technology.
EasyDrive is a paper-thin, battery-less RFID sticker containing a chip and antenna attached to a vehicle’s windshield. It is designed to provide convenient toll road access by solving traditional queuing problems when paying toll fees.
EasyDrive is now the dubbed the fastest system in toll road access in the country, compared with other electronic payment systems such as Easytrip for NLEX and e-Tap for Cavitex.
MPTC also intends to implement EasyDrive along NLEX within the year.
MPTC operates 63% of the country’s total 320-km toll road system including NLEX, Cavitex, the 94-km Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway, and the 8.8-km Subic Freeport Expressway. – Rappler.com