Published on 08 March 2013 [ manilatimes.net ]
Written by Madelaine B. Miraflor
The Manny Pangilinan-led infrastructure holding firm, Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC), is allocating P3.5 billion for hospitals investments, which involves acquisitions of new hospitals, among others.
“In the hospitals, we have allocated about P3.5 billion for new acquisitions or additional ownership in existing hospitals,” Jose Ma. Lim, MPIC president and chief executive officer, said.
Lim specified that MPIC’s hospital group is currently in talks with other parties for new deals within this year, adding that they may want to acquire hospitals in provinces like Cebu.
“We need a few in South Luzon, Central Luzon, we need additional one in Cebu,” Lim said.
He also said that MPIC is looking to create its own vehicle for its hospital business.
“We’re contemplating on that and [MPIC may consider it further] as soon as we get enough critical mass on the hospitals,” Lim said.
“The hospitals [business] are about 5 percent of our business, and we would like to increase the number of beds as well as the ownership to our existing hospitals to allow as to be a significant contributor,” he added.
P25-B for other projects
Lim also said that MPIC will allocate P25 billion for its upcoming projects, specifying that the company is “well placed for all of the expansion projects.” He added that these projects include the Private-Public Partnership projects that MPIC is bidding for.
“We have proceeds from the Marubeni transaction. The proceeds of this offering plus credit facilities will give us a war chest of about P25 billion. That is quite a substantial amount that we will have to invest first before we have any other equity [fundraising],” Lim said.
He was referring to the acquisition of a stake by Marubeni of Japan in Maynilad Water Services Inc., which is also part of companies MPIC has a stake in.
Lim further said that the P25 billion investment budget covers the expansion of the firm’s tollway project and some investments in its water business, noting that the “P25 billion war chest does not count debt that may be raised at subsidiary level.”
“That is really three projects—the harbor link, connector road and city link, then we have key water projects within the franchise area and outside. We also got into Subic and we intend to increase our stake in Subic,” he added.