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Villars keen on PPPs

Posted on August 01, 2012 10:11:26 PM [ BusinessWorld Online ]

THE VILLAR camp, which counts mass housing as its core business, plans to form an investment vehicle that will bid for the government’s public-private partnership (PPP) projects, joining other local builders keen on the promised infrastructure boom.

“We will be announcing in the next few months a new group for PPPs,” Senator Manuel B. Villar, Jr., who used to run the family’s property firm Vista Land & Lifescapes, Inc., told reporters in a chance interview yesterday.

He has since turned over the reins to his son Manuel Paolo A. Villar.

Before this, the politician had been accused of using his influence to change the alignment of the C-5 road extension to benefit the family’s housing developments.

The younger Villar, who sits as president and chief executive of Vista Land, will head the planned investment vehicle, the Senator said.

“It will be a personal vehicle,” the Vista Land president, for his part, said. “We are already in talks with partners.

The planned corporate entity may venture into sectors such as infrastructure, utilities, mining, water, and power, the senator said.

Earlier this year, the family already entered the mining industry by securing a 25% stake in Nationwide Development Corp., which holds a mineral production sharing agreement in Compostela Valley.

“I personally believe in the future of infrastructure and mining in contributing to the country’s development. It will be a good investment,” the Vista Land president said.

Sought for comment, Freya B. Natividad, analyst at online brokerage 2TradeAsia.com said: “[This] would create synergies with the Villar’s listed company.”

Vista Land shares were traded unchanged yesterday at P4.40 apiece. -- F. J. G. de la Fuente        
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