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MANILA - Conglomerates Ayala Corp. and Aboitiz Equity Ventures Inc. have formed an "exclusive strategic partnership" to bid for the P10 billion Mactan-Cebu International Airport Project.
In a statement, AC said the two conglomerates have signed a memorandum of agreement to form a 50-50 joint venture company that will serve as their vehicle to bid for and develop the country’s second largest international gateway.
Both parties will enter into a definitive agreement once the terms of reference for the project have been finalized and published by the government. They will also explore partnerships with experienced global airport operators to complete the consortium.
The government is expected to announce before the end of the year the bidding for the Mactan Airport, one of the Aquino administration’s public-private partnership projects.
The project involves the construction of a new world-class passenger terminal building with a capacity of 8 million passengers a year, as well as the operation and maintenance of the old and new facilities.
The Mactan Airport is already operating beyond capacity with passenger volumes exceeding 5 million a year.
AC expects to capitalize not only on the Aboitiz group's "long history and heritage in Cebu" but also its "successful track record in undertaking significant size projects in multiple industries.”
“We are excited about this partnership with the Aboitiz Group. Both groups strongly believe in the potential of the Mactan Airport to be a compelling gateway to the country for international passengers and to the Visayas for the growing domestic travelers. We share the vision of creating an airport that provides passengers an efficient and pleasant travel experience. We look forward to leveraging each other’s strengths in developing and running a modern airport facility that Cebu and our country can be proud of," said Fernando Zobel de Ayala, AC president and chief operating officer.
Erramon Aboitiz, AEV president and chief executive officer, said the project will give the Cebu-based conglomerate the opportunity "to enter into a strategic new segment that is crucial to developing both the country's transportation infrastructure as well as its tourism potential."
"It also allows us to harness the Aboitiz Group’s competencies in construction, logistics, utilities, and real estate development and management. In our over a century of doing business, AEV has always been keen to play a key role in nation building and, consequently, we are therefore keen today to support the government's thrust to develop the nation's infrastructure gaps," Aboitiz said.
“Combined with the Ayala group’s strengths and competencies that have also been honed over more than 100 years of doing business, we are very optimistic about the success potential of this project. Moreover, the fact that the project is in Cebu, which is home to the Aboitiz Group, gives it more special meaning to us," he added.
Through real estate arm Ayala Land Inc., AC has built a significant presence in the country’s second largest city, with a land bank of close to 200 hectares, including some of the city’s landmarks such as the Cebu Business Park, the Ayala Center Cebu, the Asiatown IT Park and high-end residential developments.
The Aboitiz group is AC’s second strategic partner after it formed an alliance with Metro Pacific Investments Corp. to jointly pursue light rail projects in Metro Manila.
After winning the bid for the Daang Hari-South Luzon Expressway Connector Road Project last December, AC has set its sights on the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Expressway, the Cavite-Laguna Expressway, and the Light Rail Transit Line 1 Cavite Extension. Aside from the Mactan Airport, AC is also keen on the development of the Laguindingan Airport.
The Philippines' oldest conglomerate, AC has businesses in real estate development, banking and financial services, telecommunications, water distribution, infrastructure, automotive dealerships, electronics manufacturing services, business process outsourcing, and power, among others.
The Aboitiz Group is involved in power generation and distribution, banking, food production, construction, shipbuilding and land development.
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