Indonesia's PT Citra has 'big' plans for PH unit

By Miguel R. Camus, BusinessMirror

Posted at Jan 02 2012 07:32 AM | Updated as of Jan 02 2012 03:32 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Indonesian company PT Citra Marga Marga Nusaphala Persada is looking at bigger plans for newly organized unit Atlantic Aurum Inc., owner of controlling stake in the Skyway elevated toll road in southern Metro Manila, including a public listing and possible synergies with other business units of partner San Miguel Corp.(SMC).

Citra earlier this month succeeded in “inviting” SMC to invest in a 46-percent stake in Atlantic Aurum for an undisclosed amount.

Shadik Wahono, PT Citra President, said preparations are already being made for Atlantic Aurum to hold a public listing in Singapore, Hong Kong or the Philippines.

PT Citra engages in the construction, operation, and maintenance of toll road projects. In Indonesia, its project portfolio includes the Simpang Susun Waru-Bandara Juanda toll road project in Surabaya and the Depok Antasari toll road project in Jakarta. The company also provides toll road support services; and engages in trading, development, and other service activities. It was founded in 1987 and is based in Jakarta, Indonesia.

“We are looking to list [Atlantic Aurum] in the first semester of 2012,” Wahono told reporters in an earlier interview, noting that the initial public offering (IPO) is intended more as??means to gain credibility with investors instead of an actual fund-raising effort.

He said in Singapore, a company the size of Atlantic Aurum would be required to sell only 5 percent of its total shares in the IPO. He declined to reveal additional financial details about the company or its listing plans.

“This is just to introduce us to investors, so they can be more comfortable with us,” Wahono said.

Wahono said Atlantic Aurum, which will also own assets in Indonesia, is planning to expand into other infrastructure businesses apart from toll roads, including “piping petrol, resources and transportation.”

It can be recalled that SMC announced in August that it will acquire?Exxon Mobil Corp.’s downstream oil business in Malaysia for $610 million.

The investment in Atlantic Aurum also gave SMC an exclusive option to take a controlling stake in the toll road company. But?SMC president Ramon S. Ang told reporters last month that the conglomerate is “not in a hurry” to exercise this option.

SMC’s entry is seen to support Citra’s aggressive expansion program in the country worth up to $1.5 billion, including potential toll road acquisitions.

Atlantic Aurum owns a controlling interest in Citra Metro Manila Tollways Corp., which operates the Skyway toll road project that stretches from Buendia in Makati to Alabang.

SMC said last week it is in talks with Citra for a possible investment in the 42-kilometer Southern Tagalog Arterial Road which connects Laguna to Batangas.