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Aboitiz wishes Calax bidders good luck

Aboitiz Equity Ventures Inc. president Erramon “Montxu” Aboitiz will have to wait longer to enjoy the full perks of retirement, such as playing golf every day, as the Aboitiz Group decided it still needs him at the helm to steer the company’s bid to become a regional player and develop its fifth leg of business, which is infrastructure.

Aboitiz’s term as head of one of the country’s top conglomerates has been extended until 2019, from his retirement age in 2016. His main priority during the extended term, he said, is to build the group’s fifth leg that would complement power, real estate, banking and agribusiness and to venture in other parts of Southeast Asia.

AEV would have bagged its first infrastructure project—the Cavite Laguna Expressway—if Malacañang Palace had not called for a rebidding of the P34.5-billion project, after San Miguel Corp. filed a protest following the disqualification of its unit on technicality.

So far, AEV is looking at other public-private partnership projects in the pipeline, including the Laguna Lakeshore Expressway Dike project and Light Railway Transit Line 2 operation and maintenance project.

Aboitiz said his term extension was not because there wasn’t anybody qualified to take his place, but because the company wanted to ensure that the growth and plans would be sustained.

Aboitiz is wishing other interested bidders for the Calax project “good luck” as the P20.1-billion minimum bid price would not work for the company.

“We think our bid was a very good bid and a very aggressive bid. But with the minimum bid at P20.1 billion today, I think for us it does not work for us, at least based on our assumptions,” he said.

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