MVP in talks with foreign partners for Cebu airport project

by Kathleen A. Martin,

Posted at Jan 30 2013 06:47 PM | Updated as of Jan 31 2013 02:47 AM

MANILA, Philippines - Manuel V. Pangilinan's Metro Pacific Investments Corp. is talking to airport operators in Asia and Europe to boost its bid for the Mactan-Cebu International Airport project.

"Let me just say, [we're talking to] both Asian operators and European operators," Pangilinan told reporters on Wednesday.

"Kasi wala namang local airport operators here so it's got to be a foreign partner," he noted.

Pangilinan revealed his firm is talking to several possible strategic partner as it awaits the final bidding rules.

The P17-billion Mactan-Cebu International Airport Project is one of the biggest undertakings in the government's public-private partnership program. MPIC, which has expressed interest in the project last year, earlier said the firm will be looking to form a joint venture with a foreign company before bidding for the project.

When asked how many partners the firm is eyeing, Pangilinan said "We're just waiting for the final bidding rules."

Aside from MPIC, the Ayala Corp. and Aboitiz Equity Ventures last year have already teamed up to bid for the Mactan-Cebu Airport project. The Ayala and Aboitiz groups have also tapped US-based ADC & HAS Airports, Inc. to join their consortium bidding for the airport project.

The Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) earlier said local firms with stakes in airlines will be barred from bidding for the project. But earlier this month, the department said it is now considering allowing firms with interests in airlines join the bidding.

This means JG Summit Holdings, Inc., parent company of Cebu Air, Inc. (Cebu Pacific), and San Miguel Corp., which has a controlling stake in flag carrier Philippine Airlines, may join the auction for the Mactan-Cebu airport project.