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Megawide, GMR press DOTC on P17.5-B Cebu airport project

MANILA, Philippines - The tandem of Filipino-owned Megawide Construction Corp. and Bangalore-based GMR Airports has asked the Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC) to resolve the issues delaying the award of the P17.5-billion contract for the expansion of the Mactan Cebu International Airport.

In a statement, Megawide chief marketing officer Louie Ferrer said the DOTC should proceed with the awarding of the project that was auctioned by the government through the public private partnership (PPP) program last Dec. 12.

Ferrer reiterated that the accusations hurdled by the Filinvest Group of taipan Andrew Gotianun are baseless.

“The DOTC should proceed with the awarding because there is no ground for anyone, particularly Filinvest, to question GMR’s financial capability as we are confident that this is a non-issue with respect to the results of this bid,” he said.

The Megawide-GMR Group submitted the highest bid of P14.404 billion for the project last Dec. 12 followed by the Filinvest – CAI Consortium with P13.999 billion, and Premier Airport Group of SM Group of retail magnate Henry Sy with P12.5 billion.

The MPIC-JGS Airport consortium led by infrastructure conglomerate Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC) and JG Summit Holdings submitted a bid of P11.23 billion while AAA Airport Partners led by the conglomerate Ayala Group and Cebu-based Aboitiz Land forwarded a bid of P11.088 billion.

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The San Miguel Corp.-Incheon Airport consortium submitted a bid of P9.05 billion while the Lopez groups’ First Philippine Airports submitted the lowest bid of P4.7 billion.

However, the awarding of the project has been delayed due to the allegations made by the Filinvest Group on the alleged conflict of interest committed by the Megawide-GMR Group in violation of the bidding rules.

During a Senate hearing last week, the Megawide-GMR Group informed Sen. Serge Osmeña about the group’s unequivocal commitment to the project for 25 years and in building a world-class airport that all Filipinos will be proud of, and Cebuanos can call their own.

The group informed the Osmeña committee that the company maintains that it is in a financially healthy position and that the company makes operational and cash profits as it has done for the past six years.

The GMR-Megawide consortium also denied GMR’s finances took a hit after the Maldives project fell through. It cited GMR’s latest audited financial statements as of September 2013 that showed it has consolidated net worth of $1.68 billion and gross assets of $10 billion.

“The events in the Maldives do not have a material impact on GMR... Presently, GMR enjoys the following credit ratings: Long Term Bank Facilities – BBB+, Short Term Bank Facilities – A2,” Ferrer said.

On the issue of GMR’s “questionable” long-term commitment for the development of the Cebu airport, the consortium emphasized the Indian company’s track record in developing airports all over the world, including in New Delhi, Hyderabad and Istanbul.

 

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