MPIC avails of P8-B loan facility

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METRO Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC) has secured an P8-billion syndicated term loan facility to partially finance the obligations of one of its subsidiaries.

In a disclosure to the stock exchange on Friday, the Manuel V. Pangilinan-led firm said the syndicated term loan facility — set to mature in 10 years and 15 years — will be used partially for the redemption of outstanding debt obligations of Beacon Electric Asset Holdings, Inc.

The infrastructure conglomerate tapped BDO Capital and Investment Corp. to act as arranger and bookrunner for the transaction.

MPIC started acquiring Beacon from PLDT, Inc.’s unit PLDT Communications and Energy Ventures in 2016, in order to increase its interest in Manila Electric Co. Beacon Electric previously owned 35% of Meralco, while 56% is held by Global Business Power.

The company earlier paid P12 billion in cash out of the P21.8-billion purchase price of Beacon, with the remaining P9.8 billion to be paid in the next four years.

The transaction brings MPIC’s effective ownership stake in Meralco to 45.5%, from the previous 41.2%, as well as increases its stake in Global Business Power to 62.4% from 47.8%. MPIC already had a 10.5% direct interest in Meralco prior to the transaction.

This year, MPIC has committed to spend P100 billion in capital expenditures to accelerate the expansion of its tollway, water, energy, rail, and hospital segments. The company specifically allocated P38 billion for Metro Pacific Tollways Corp., P17 billion for the Light Rail Manila Corp., P21 billion for Meralco, P12 billion for Maynilad Water Services, Inc., P6 billion for Metro Pacific Hospital Holdings, Inc., and P6 billion for logistics.

To fund this capex, the company said it is using internally generated income, a combination of equity partners, value crystallization in its portfolio, and banks. It also plans to offer P30 billion worth of bonds in the next three years.

MPIC generated a net income attributable to the parent of P11.3 billion in the first three quarters of 2017, posting a 17% year-on-year increase as revenues likewise climbed 30% to P43 billion during the same period.

MPIC is one of three Philippine units of Hong Kong-based First Pacific, along with PLDT and Philex Mining. Hastings Holdings, Inc. — a unit of PLDT Beneficial Trust Fund subsidiary MediaQuest Holdings, Inc. — maintains interest in BusinessWorld through the Philippine Star Group, which it controls.

Shares in MPIC lost six centavos or 0.91% to close at P6.55 apiece at the Philippine Stock Exchange on Friday. — Arra B. Francia