Changing lanes: MVP steering MPI away from ‘less regulated’ businesses

Bilyonaryo Manny V. Pangilinan has never been on to think twice about walking into businesses riddled with landmines.

But in his senior year, Pangilinan is keen on shedding some of Metro Pacific Investments’ (MPI) highly-regulated holdings

“Management quipped in one of their previous briefings their plan to transition towards less regulated businesses. We believe it is slowly coming into fruition,” said Abacus Securities in a report, never shied away from taking bold risks.

“MPI’s selldown on its stake in the railroad business last year, as well as its plan to sell a portion of its toll road segment via public by 2023, should facilitate the conglomerate’s transition to less regulated businesses,”it added.

In May 2020, MPI sold its 34.9 percent stake of its 55 percent stake in Light Rail Transit (LRT) 1 to Japan’s Sumitomo Corp. for P 3 billion. This gave Sumitomo a 19.2 percent stake in LRT-1 and left MPI with 35.8 percent interest. Other investors in LRT-1 are Ayala Corp. and Macquarie Investments Holdings (Philippines) Limited.

MPI has also bared plans to divest part of its holdings in Metro Pacific Tollways, which runs the North Luzon Expressway, through an initial public offering in 2023.

Abacus sid MPI has already started its transition to less regulated businesses with the purchase of a 50 percent interest in the Subic-based Philippine Coastal Storage & Pipeline Corp. which runs the country’s largest import terminal for petroleum products.

MPI and partner, Keppel Infrastructure Fund Management Pte. Ltd., plan to jack up the terminal’s capacity to eight million barrels from six million barrels and expand its reach to cover Visayas and Mindanao.

Aside from railways and tollways, MPI’s other rent-seeking businesses are water (Maynilad) and power (Meralco).

Down the road: MVP eyes Metro Pacific toll road IPO in 2023

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