SMC deal delays MPIC toll road unit debut plans

MANILA – The planned initial public offering of Metro Pacific Investments Corp.'s (MPIC) toll road unit may be delayed by about a year as the company evaluates a potential joint venture (JV) with San Miguel Corp. (SMC).

Metro Pacific Tollways Corp. (MPTC) President and CEO Rogelio Singson told reporters the company aims to go public in 2025, a year later than first announced by MPIC Chairman Manuel Pangilinan.

read: MPIC plans to take toll road unit public after PSE exits

But recent discussions about the possible creation of a major toll road company led by billionaire Pangilinan and SMC President and CEO Ramon Ang have changed the trajectory of the public listing.

“As far as MPTC is concerned, we are ready for an IPO after MPIC is delisted,” Singson said. It was recalled that MPIC exited the local exchange in October following a tender offer.

Singson said they had to review their books with SMC and undergo a third-party assessment before launching a fundraising campaign.

May be listed

He also did not underestimate the possibility of the joint venture giant going public.

Pangilinan earlier told the media that the publicly listed joint venture with Ang is an ideal step after joining forces to build the P72-billion toll road project in Southern Tagalog. These include the 88-kilometer Cavite-Batangas Expressway (CBEx) and the Nasugbu-Baan Expressway (NBEX).

read: Rival to ally: Ramon Ang to invest in MVP-led Metro Pacific

In August, MPIC and SMC signed a memorandum of agreement to design, build and operate CBEx and NBEx, and are expected to break ground next year. The toll road will pass through Silang, Amadeo, Tagaytay, Indang, Mendez and Alfonso in Cavite province and connect motorists to Nasugbu and Baan in Batangas.

Hinson stressed that the cooperation between the two giants will not stifle competition, which is a key factor in improving public services and products.

He explained that the toll roads operated by the two companies are not the only infrastructure open to the public. “They (motorists) may or may not use the highway. There are free roads.

MPTC’s portfolio includes the North Luzon Expressway (NLEx), NLEx Connector, Cavite-Laguna Expressway, Manila-Cavite Expressway, Subic-Clark Tarlac Expressway and Cebu-Co Eldoba connects to the highway.

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Meanwhile, SMC owns the concessions for the South Luzon Expressway, Skyway, Naia Expressway, Star Tollway and Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway.

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