GT Capital seeks partners for PPP bids

By Richmond S. Mercurio, The Philippine Star

Posted at Jul 13 2015 10:03 AM | Updated as of Jul 13 2015 06:03 PM

MANILA - GT Capital Holdings Inc., the investment unit of the Metrobank Group of tycoon George S.K. Ty, is planning to pursue projects under the government’s Public-Private Partnership (PPP) program but not without a partner.

GT Capital president Carmelo Maria Luza Bautista told The STAR in a chance interview last week that the conglomerate has no intentions of going solo as it remains on the lookout for other PPP projects to be auctioned off by the Aquino administration.

“We are still looking at PPP projects, but we’re very careful on assessing which ones. There are those which we are discussing at present but it is still not definite whether it’s a go,” Bautista said.

GT Capital has earlier purchased prequalification documents to the P123-billion Laguna Lakeshore Expressway and Dike project but had later opted not to push through with it.

“We bought prequalification documents for that but based on our discussions, we decided not to pursue it because it’s too big, it’s too chunky. So we did not join the prequalification,” Bautista said.

Bautista said GT Capital is currently scouting for other local conglomerates and even foreign strategic partners to team-up with for its planned PPP bidding participation.

“We’re still looking for the right partner. It is very important to have the right partner,” he said.

“These are big-ticket projects so it’s better to also have other big groups with you. And I think that’s the trend. I think it’s natural that the conglomerates will work together because they have common interest and most of them are close with each other and these families work very well together,” Bautista added.

For their part, Bautista said the Ty family has worked very well with the rest of the conglomerates in the country such as those owned by the Aboitiz, Gokongwei, and Ayala families.

Property unit Federal Land Inc. earlier this year joined forces with Ayala Land’s upscale unit Alveo Land to develop a 45-hectare property along Laguna Blvd. in Biñan, Laguna.

The property is set to be transformed into a master-planned residential community that is directly accessible from the central business district of Makati City via the South Metro Manila Skyway and the South Luzon Expressway.

Bautista said both property firms are now working on the master plan of the project which is slated to be launched by the first quarter of next year.

GT Capital has diverse investments in companies that are dominant in their respective markets such as Metrobank, Toyota Motor Philippines, Global Business Power Corp., Federal Land and Philippine AXA Life Insurance.

Bautista said GT Capital is not looking to make any major acquisition this year as it intends to focus on growing its existing businesses.

The group posted strong earnings results in the first quarter of the year as it booked a 61 percent increase in its January to March net income at P2.8 billion.

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