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AboitizLand looks for more opportunities among industrial estates

Posted on September 15, 2013 10:12:40 PM [ BusinessWorld Online ]

PROPERTY DEVELOPER Aboitiz Land, Inc. (AboitizLand) is eyeing more opportunities in industrial estates as it finalizes this month the acquisition of a property in Batangas, a top official of the parent conglomerate said late Thursday.

“We are finalizing the purchase of Lima Land of the Alcantara Group,” Erramon I. Aboitiz, president and chief executive officer of Aboitiz Equity Ventures, told reporters on the sidelines of a media party organized by the Aboitiz Group in Taguig City.

“By the end of this month, we would have finalized and disclosed how much is the final price,” he added.

Mr. Aboitiz said utilization rate at Lima Land is already “quite high.”

“That is why we are looking at other properties,” he said.

AboitizLand in June said it offered to purchase 60% of Lima Land, Inc., a subsidiary of Alsons Land Corp., which owns the Lima Technology Center in Batangas.

Once finalized, Lima Technology Center will add to AboitizLand’s two existing industrial estates in Mactan and Balamban, which are both located in the province of Cebu, where the Aboitiz Group was based before moving to its corporate headquarters in Taguig City early this year.

“We think that there is an opportunity for industrial estates, in a sense that there are many foreign investors that are looking at the Philippines,” he explained.

“Many of them want to be in secure and prepared industrial estates with proper infrastructure; so we are saying that it’s gonna be a good business, we would like to see if we can build that business,” he added.

“Our thinking was it would be best if we gonna get an existing one, expand it,” he said of Lima Land.

Expansion of Lima will start next year, Mr. Aboitiz said, but would not give details.

Aside from industrial estates, AboitizLand is also the Aboitiz Group’s corporate vehicle for infrastructure projects offered by the government under the public-private partnership (PPP) program.

The company, in partnership with Ayala Corp., was prequalified to bid for a P17.5-billion PPP project to expand and operate Mactan Cebu International Airport.

It is also one of the groups interested in a P35-billion project to build Cavite-Laguna Expressway. On Thursday, Mr. Aboitiz the company was in talks with various potential partners for the project.

Aboitiz Equity Ventures, Inc., the parent of AboitizLand, saw its profit fall by 3.62% to P14.37 billion in the first semester from P14.91 billion in the same six months last year.

Its shares gained 30 centavos or 0.62% to close P48.50 apiece on Friday last week from P48.20 each on Thursday. -- Cliff Harvey C. Venzon       
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