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Go signal for PT Nusantara tender offer seen by August

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METRO PACIFIC Tollways Corp. (MPTC) targets to get the greenlight from Indonesian regulators for the conduct of a tender offer in favor of minority shareholders of infrastructure firm PT Nusantara Infrastructure Tbk by August.

“We are filing in Indonesia with their SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission). That will determine the actual timeline. It should be August when we get the final clearance sa Indonesia,” MPTC President and Chief Executive Officer Rodrigo E. Franco told reporters on Wednesday.

The Indonesian counterpart for the SEC is called the Financial Services Authority (FSA).

Mr. Franco said they can determine the timeline for the tender offer once it secures clearance from FSA.

MPTC on Tuesday announced that its unit PT Metro Pacific Tollways Indonesia (MPTI) acquired an additional 4.99% stake in PT Nusantara or 760 million shares. The share purchase brought PT MPTI’s total stake in PT Nusantara to 53.26%, prompting the firm to conduct a mandatory tender offer to its minority stockholders.

PT Nusantara’s minority shareholders collectively own 44.21% of the firm, with the other 2.53% held as treasury shares.

Should all shareholders participate in the tender offer, MPTC would have to pay out 1,421 billion Indonesian Rupiah (IDR) or around P5.29 billion, based on a price of 79 centavos per share.

Mr. Franco said they are currently preparing the funding plan for the offer.

“It’s not yet firm but we have bank facilities also. We’ll look at the response to the tender offer…see how the market will react,” Mr. Franco said.

The MPTC executive said PT Nusantara will likely remain a publicly listed firm even after the tender offer.

PT Nusantara has interests in tollroads, water, energy, port operations, and telecommunications. It operates a total of 34.47 kilometers in toll roads in Indonesia.

MPTC’s investment in the Indonesian firm forms part of its parent Metro Pacific Investment Corp.’s plan to expand into Southeast Asia and create a pan-ASEAN tollway network.

Prior to Indonesia, MPIC already had stakes in Don Muang Tollway Public Company Limited, a major toll road operator in Bangkok, Thailand, and in CII Bridges and Roads, a firm with road and bridges projects in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

Earlier this year, the company said it is looking to close a deal for a tollway project in Malaysia. Mr. Franco, however, declined to comment on the matter.

MPIC is one of three key Philippine units of Hong-Kong based First Pacific Co. Ltd., the others being Philex Mining Corp. and PLDT, Inc. Hastings Holdings, Inc., a unit of PLDT Beneficial Trust Fund subsidiary MediaQuest Holdings, Inc., has a majority stake in BusinessWorld through the Philippine Star Group, which it controls.

Shares in MPIC gained a centavo or 0.21% to close at P4.68 each at the stock exchange on Wednesday. — Arra B. Francia