MVP, RSA plan to list expressway behemoth

Manny V. Pangilinan and Ramon S. Ang
STAR / File

MANILA, Philippines — Tycoons Manuel V. Pangilinan and Ramon S. Ang plan to bring an infrastructure behemoth to the local stock exchange in the event they succeed in combining their toll road units.

Pangilinan’s Metro Pacific Tollways Corp. (MPTC) and Ang’s San Miguel Corp. (SMC) are now assessing their path toward a possible merger of their expressway businesses.

Pangilinan said the goal is for the resulting joint venture to go public, introducing a tollway giant with the potential of shaking the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE).

“We hope that we could list it someday, post-merger. Also, the stock exchange needs significant companies to be listed, and I think this would be significant,” Pangilinan said.

Right now, the companies are looking at the hurdles to their merger, starting with the concessions awarded to them in running their respective expressways.

Pangilinan said MPTC and SMC may have to go to Congress to apply for a franchise covering the toll roads they are managing.

Another factor is the foreign operations of MPTC in Indonesia and Vietnam. A merger would require approval from foreign shareholders.

Metro Pacific Tollways Asia, a unit of MPTC, owns a 40 percent share in the operator of the Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Flyover in Indonesia and manages two projects in Vietnam, namely, the Hanoi Highway Expansion Phase 2 and the Rach Mieu Bridge.

“We have Indonesian operations as well which are subject to outside shareholdings in Indonesia, as well as here, [so] it is not going to be a straightforward transaction,” Pangilinan said.

In 2023, Pangilinan and Ang surprised the business community when they signed an unprecendented P72-billion deal to put up the Cavite-Batangas Expressway (CBEX) and Nasugbu-Bauan Expressway (NBEX). The deal marked the first time the two will cooperate on projects as huge as CBEX and NBEX.

Further, Ang made a personal investment in MPIC following its delisting from the main index of the PSE. He was also voted to the board of the company.

In his estimates, Pangilinan said SMC outvalues MPTC locally, but MPTC overtakes SMC if the overseas contracts are accounted for.

MPTC operates the North Luzon Expressway, Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway, Manila-Cavite Expressway, Cavite-Laguna Expressway and Cebu-Cordova Link Expressway, while SMC runs the Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway, Skyway System, Southern Tagalog Arterial Road, South Luzon Expressway and NAIA Expressway.

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