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Philippine Conglomerates Combine On Airport Bid

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Two of the Philippines' biggest conglomerates, Metro Pacific Investments and JG Summit Holdings, have teamed up to bid for a new USD$430 million passenger terminal project at the airport in central Cebu province.

Metro Pacific and JG Summit said in a statement that they had formed a joint venture, called MPIC-JGS Airport Consortium, to bid for the Mactan-Cebu airport project and explore similar ventures under the government's public-private partnership (PPP) scheme.

Earlier this month, the transport department revised its bidding criteria for the project to allow companies with interests in airline operations. JG Summit owns Cebu Air, the country's largest budget airline.

The project involves the right to build a new terminal with an annual capacity of 8 million passengers, rehabilitate the old terminal, and operate the entire airport facility.

The Mactan-Cebu facility is the second-busiest airport in the country by passenger traffic, and is a major gateway to central and southern Philippine provinces. About 6.8 million passengers used it last year, above its 4.5 million design capacity.

The joint venture - majority-owned by Metro Pacific, 33 percent owned by JG Summit and 10 percent held by an unnamed airport operator partner - will be one of several project bidders.

The country's most diversified conglomerate, San Miguel Corporation, which also partly owns Philippine Airlines, also purchased bid documents for the project.

Other interested bidders, according to the PPP Center's website, are Aboitiz Land, Filinvest Land, Macroasia, Megawide Construction, Prime Power Holdings, First Philippine Holdings, Premier Airport Group of the SM Investments and India's GMR Infrastructure.

The companies have until March 22 to submit their pre-qualification documents for the bidding set for August 2.

The Philippines has been seeking local and foreign investors in PPP projects aimed at improving the country's roads, ports, airports and other infrastructure to spur more economic activity and propel faster growth of above 7 percent.

(Reuters)

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