Philippine conglomerates to bid jointly for $430 mln airport project

MANILA Mon Feb 25, 2013 2:49am EST

MANILA Feb 25 (Reuters) - Two of the Philippines' biggest conglomerates, Metro Pacific Investments Corp and JG Summit Holdings Inc, have teamed up to bid for a new $430 million passenger terminal project in the country's international airport in central Cebu province.

Metro Pacific and JG Summit said in a statement that they had formed a joint venture, called MPIC-JGS Airport Consortium Inc, to bid for the Mactan-Cebu airport project and explore similar ventures under the government's public-private partnership (PPP) scheme.

JG Summit also owns Cebu Air Inc, the country's largest budget airline. Earlier this month, the transportation department revised its bidding criteria for the project to allow companies with interests in airline operations, such as JG Summit, to bid for the new terminal.

The project involves the right to build a new terminal with an annual capacity of 8 million passengers, rehabilitate the old terminal, and operate the entire airport facility.

The Mactan-Cebu facility is the second-busiest airport in the country by passenger traffic, and is a major gateway to central and southern Philippine provinces. About 6.8 million passengers used it last year, above its 4.5 million annual capacity.

The joint venture - majority-owned by Metro Pacific, 33 percent owned by JG Summit and 10 percent held by an unnamed airport operator partner - will be one of several project bidders.

The country's most diversified conglomerate, San Miguel Corporation, which also partly owns Philippine Airlines Inc, also purchased bid documents for the project.

Other interested bidders, according to the PPP Center's website, are Aboitiz Land Inc, Filinvest Land Inc, Macroasia Corp, Megawide Construction Corp, Prime Power Holdings Corp, First Philippine Holdings, Premier Airport Group of the SM Investments Corp and India's GMR Infrastructure Limited.

The companies have until March 22 to submit their prequalification documents for the bidding set for Aug. 2.

The Philippines has been seeking local and foreign investors in PPP projects aimed at improving the country's roads, ports, airports and other infrastructure to spur more economic activity and propel faster growth of above 7 percent. (Reporting by Rosemarie Francisco; Editing by Chris Gallagher)

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