Metro Pacific tollways unit expands presence in Indonesia

MANILA, Philippines – Metro Pacific Tollways Corporation (MPTC), chaired by tycoon Manuel Pangilinan, is betting on Indonesia, the hometown of its parent firm's top shareholder Salim Group.

Its parent firm Metro Pacific Investments Corporation (MPIC) told the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) on Monday, November 6, that it signed a deal with PT Matahari Kapital Indonesia to acquire its shares in PT Nusantara Infrastructure Tbk.

PT Nusantara is an Indonesian infrastructure holding company with interests in toll roads, port operations, water, energy, and telecommunications – almost similar to MPIC. (READ: Metro Pacific pouring P153B into public infrastructure 'til 2018)

MPTC said it indirectly acquired about 6.6 billion shares of PT Nusantara, at an estimated amount of $132 million (P6.76 billion).

This adds to MPTC's indirect holdings, through its wholly-owned subsidiary MPT Asia Corporation and Indonesian subsidiary PT Metro Pacific Tollways Indonesia, of about 42.25% of the total capital stock of PT Nusantara on a fully-diluted basis.

Combined with earlier share acquisitions, MPTC's Indonesian unit, PT Metro Pacific Tollways Indonesia, will now hold a total of about 47.08% of the total issued capital stock of PT Nusantara on a fully-diluted basis.

"MPTC will support the existing management of PT Nusantara by sharing our brand of service and helping the Indonesian firm realize its growth potential, especially in the toll road sector," MPTC president and chief executive officer Rodrigo Franco said.

On PT Nusantara's part, its chief executive officer Muhammad Ramdani Basri said: "MPTC's entry has strengthened the Indonesian firm's market position and will even accelerate its growth strides in the tollway business."

Strategic alliance

PT Nusantara has a manpower base of 700 employees spread over its 5 business sectors that seek to meet Indonesia's fast-growing infrastructure requirements.

Through its involvement in toll roads, water, energy, port operations, and telecommunications, PT Nusantara services over 103 million customers, 550,000 households, 103 million vehicles, and more than 210 vessels.

It operates a total of 34.47 kilometers in toll roads in 4 places, connecting an airport, a seaport, and business districts.

"MPTC will bring to the burgeoning Indonesian economy its competence and commitment to provide the finest in expressway construction and customer service," said Franco.

MPTC is the Philippines' largest tollways developer and operator.

It operates the 84-kilometer North Luzon Expressway (NLEX), 94-kilometer Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX), and the 14-kilometer Cavite Expressway (Cavitex).

The firm also has 3 toll concessions under construction: the 45-kilometer Cavite-Laguna Expressway (CALAX), the 8-kilometer Cebu-Cordova Link Expressway (CCLEX), and the 8-kilometer NLEX-South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) Connector Road.

MPTC had said it aims to establish and expand toll operations in the Visayas as well as in neighboring countries like Thailand, Vietnam, and Indonesia.

MPIC is a leading infrastructure holding company in the Philippines and is a member of the MVP Group of Companies.

MPIC intends to maintain and develop diverse infrastructure assets through its investments in water utilities, toll roads, electricity distribution, hospital operations, light rail, and logistics. – Rappler.com