Tan's MacroAsia has P1-B to invest in airport-related projects

By Zinnia B. Dela Peña, The Philippine Star

Posted at Jul 23 2012 07:53 AM | Updated as of Jul 23 2012 03:53 PM

MANILA, Philippines - With over a P1 billion in cash, taipan Lucio Tan-led MacroAsia Corp. is on investment mode with plans to bid for aviation and airport-related projects under the government’s Public Private Partnership program as well as expand its operations overseas through partnerships.

At the same time, MacroAsia is keen on acquiring more mining assets, reviving its proposal to build a world-class cargo terminal and securing additional bulk water distribution contracts.

MacroAsia president and chief executive officer Joseph Chua said the company is eyeing investment opportunities in the country’s major airports which include the Laguindingan International Airport in Cagayan De Oro, the Mactan-Cebu International Airport, and Diosdado Macapagal International Airport.

He said the company’s interests range from airport operations and maintenance, airport development, airport cargo terminal, and aviation fuel farm.

The company’s diversification move is aimed at boosting its cashflow and enhancing shareholder value, Chua noted.

MacroAsia director Lucio K. Tan said the company is looking to expand its aviation services beyond the Philippines.

Chua said foreign players in the aviation services sector have already taken note of the Filipino talent and competency in the industry, pointing out that the company has received offers to consider opportunities for collaboration abroad.

Last June, the group signed an in-flight catering venture with a Qatar firm. Under the deal, MacroAsia will own 44 percent of the joint venture firm but with management control. It will infuse an initial P12 million into the venture.

MacroAsia is also looking to expand its presence in Cebu with plans to build MRO (maintenance repair and overhaul) facilities for narrow-body aircraft. “We are currently waiting for final approval from National Government authorities so we can pursue this project futher,” Chua said.

Aside from this, MacroAsia is pushing for the construction of a cargo processing terminal to make the Philippines at par with global standards. The original proposal submitted to the Manila International Airport Authority during the Ramos Administration, was supposed to more than double the capacity of the existing cargo terminal.

The company is also considering venturing into gold mining and has its eyes on two sites. One is in the exploratory stage, Chua said.

MacroAsia is also planning to bid for bulk water distribution projects in areas that need clean water. The company is initially investing P2.5 billion to develop a bulk water treatment plant and distribution facility in Cavite with a capacity of 150 million liters of treated water per day. The facility will collect, treat and deliver surface water from the province’s Maragondon River.