After years of trying to secure an airport concession contract, the Aboitiz Group finally obtained one by acquiring the company that operates the Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA).
The conglomerate is led by CEO Sabin Aboitiz, lead convenor of the Private Sector Advisory Council of President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr.
Aboitiz Group's infrastructure unit, Aboitiz InfraCapital, Inc. (AIC), is set to infuse a total of P25 billion and eventually take over GMR Megawide Cebu Airport Corp. (GMCAC), developer and operator of MCIA, as both Megawide Construction Corporation (Megawide) and GMR Airports International, B.V. (GAIBV) have agreed to sell their shares.
AIC will spend P9.5 billion for the acquisition of a third of the shares in 33 and 1/3% minus 1 share stake in GMCAC.
Megawide and GAIBV have also agreed to issue exchangeable notes to AIC for the aggregate amount of P 15.5 billion. The exchangeable notes will mature on Oct. 30, 2024, and will be exchanged by AIC for the remaining 66 and 2/3 % plus 1 share of GMCAC’s outstanding capital stock.
GMCAC will use part of the P9.5 billion primary infusion to acquire certain identified entities providing services at MCIA, AIC said in a statement Friday, Sept. 2, 2022.
When the transaction is completed, AIC will fully own the company that holds the 25-year concession to operate and improve Mactan Airport.
GMR Infrastructure Ltd. will continue to provide support as the technical services provider to GMCAC.
AIC, the infrastructure unit of the Aboitiz Group, operates Mactan Economic Zone 2 (MEZ 2) in Lapu-Lapu City and West Cebu Estate (WCE) in Balamban, Cebu.
AIC has been trying to secure an airport concession contract over the past decade.
The company participated in the bidding for the P17.5 billion Mactan Airport project in 2012, with the Ayala Group as its partner, and was outbid by the Megawide and GMR consortium. It was part of the consortium that was granted an original proponent status for the rehabilitation of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Metro Manila.
AIC also submitted an unsolicited proposal for the operations & maintenance, upgrading and expansion of the new airport on Panglao Island in Bohol and the Laguindingan airport in Mindanao. The company was granted original proponent status for these proposed projects.
The company also proposed to undertake the Iloilo and Bacolod-Silay projects.
Related Story: Aboitiz InfraCapital sees Panglao airport turnover in 2020
Mactan Airport is the second busiest airport in the Philippines. More than 2 million passengers passed through the airport during the first half of 2022, a 350% increase from the 470,000 passengers in the same period of the previous year. The airport was shut down at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.
The rehabilitation and upgrading of the airport started in November 2014, when the Mactan-Cebu International Airport Authority handed over the facility to GMCAC.
Construction of Terminal 2 (T2) began in June 2015. The new facility, which has received multiple awards, was opened to passengers in July 2018. It brings the passenger carrying capacity of Mactan Airport to more than 12 million passengers annually.
“We at Aboitiz InfraCapital are happy to partner with GMR-Megawide for the continued growth and development of the Mactan-Cebu International Airport. The GMR-Megawide Consortium has done a tremendous job by significantly expanding the airport over the pre-pandemic years – almost tripling passenger traffic in five years. This is quite an accomplishment in setting up a solid foundation for the future,” said AIC president and CEO Cosette Canilao.
“Part of the larger Aboitiz Group’s push to transform into a Techglomerate is to infuse and leverage the group’s relationships and assets as well as explore utilizing Data Science and Artificial Intelligence thru Aboitiz Data Innovation (ADI) to tech-up the airport’s operations. We are excited to take MCIA to new heights which will bring in more progress to the province, region, and country,” she added. (MVI/Ventures Cebu)