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Thursday, February 22, 2024

MPTC resets planned initial public offering on merger talks

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Metro Pacific Tollways Corp. (MPTC) postponed plans for an initial public offering (IPO) this year after it started talks with San Miguel Corp. about merging their expressway businesses, a top executive said Thursday.

MPTC president and chief executive Rogelio Singson said the planned IPO in the third quarter would be delayed until 2025 because of the possible merger with San Miguel’s toll road unit.

“As far as MPTC is concerned, we’re ready to do an IPO after the delisting of MPIC. We were supposed to do it first, but because of this merger, it would be somewhat delayed,” Singson said.

MPIC was delisted from the PSE after completing the P28.4-billion tender offer to acquire the remaining shares held by minority investors. Its units, however, plan to list or remain listed with the local bourse.

“It would be delayed because we have to find out whether, we will do it together, or it would be merger first or IPO first,” Singson said of the MPTC IPO plan.

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Metro Pacific chairman Manuel Pangilinan earlier said the group was eyeing to form a joint venture company with San Miguel on expressway projects that could be a candidate to list in the Philippine Stock Exchange.

When asked if the IPO would be jointly undertaken with San Miguel, Singson said, “ Possibly. That is why we don’t know yet whether we will be combined, or they will do it alone [ the joint venture company].”

Singson said the IPO might happen by 2025, but the company needed to engage a third-party assessor first.

MPTC and SMC signed in August 2023 a P72-billion deal to construct two expressways south of Metro Manila.

Under the memorandum of agreement, MPTC and SMC will jointly undertake the construction, operation and maintenance of the 87.96-kilometer Cavite-Batangas Expressway and Nasugbu-Bauan Expressway.

MPTC operates 105 kilometers of North Luzon Expressway, 94 km. of Subic Clark-Tarlac Expressway and 14 km. of Manila-Cavite Expressway. It also operates the 8.5-km. Cebu-Cordova Link Expressway in Cebu.

SMC’s expressways include the Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway (TPLEX), the Southern Tagalog Arterial Road (STAR), South Luzon Expressway (SLEX), the Skyway System and the NAIA Expressway (NAIAX).

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