MPIC plans to take toll road unit public after PSE exits

MANILA – Metropolitan Pacific Investment Corporation (MPIC) is preparing to list its toll road unit next year after finally exiting the stock market after a successful tender offer, a move expected to bode well for its infrastructure projects.

The group's chairman, billionaire Manuel Pangilinan, said they plan to conduct an initial public offering (IPO) for Metro Pacific Tollways Corp. (MPTC) next year, which would be the first in a series of fundraising efforts sought by MPIC.

“We have promised the government that after delisting, we will list our toll roads,” the tycoon told reporters in Mandaluyong on Wednesday. Meanwhile, MPIC's water concessionaire Maynilad Water Services Inc. plans to go public in 2026.

read: Drama ends for MPIC as it clears major hurdle to spin off from exchange

Luis Limlingan, head of sales at Regina Capital Development Corp., told the Inquirer that the IPO will increase the funding of MPTC, which recently signed a partnership with San Miguel Corp. to build the 88-kilometer Cavite-Batangas highway and Nasugbu-Bauan Highway. The cost of the project is P72 billion.

“Infrastructure has been a relatively strong and stable business, so the IPO should generate investor interest,” Limlingam added.

read: Tollway division prepares for IPO, Metro Pacific aims to top 2019 feat

MPTC’s portfolio includes the North Luzon Expressway (NLEx), NLEx Connector, Cavite-Laguna Expressway, Subic-Clark Tarlac Expressway and Cebu-Cordova Link Expressway.

The toll road company expects traffic and revenue to increase 20% this year as more highways open and mobility increases.

MPIC completed its tender offer on Tuesday, with the main bidder acquiring 97.22% of the group's total issued and outstanding listed shares.

First Pacific, MPIC's single largest shareholder, is one of the leading bidders. Other bidders in the tender offer include GT Capital Holdings; Pangilinan; and Japanese companies led by industrial giant Mitsubishi. Following the transaction, public shareholding is expected to fall to 2.78%, allowing MPIC to voluntarily delist.

MPIC will exit local exchanges in October.

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