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MPIC unit completes deal for Vietnam water firm

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A UNIT of Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC) has completed the acquisition of a 49% stake in Vietnamese company that will allow its expansion into the Southeast Asian country’s industrial water concessions, the listed company told the stock exchange on Monday.

MetroPac Water Investments Corp. (MPW) bought the shares in Tuan Loc Water Resources Investment Joint Stock Co. (TLW) for 865.6-billion Vietnamese dong, or equivalent to P2 billion. The company made the payment in cash.

“TLW is one of the largest water companies in Vietnam, with 310 MLD [million liters per day] of installed capacity and a billed volume of approximately 87 MLD as of YE [year-ended] 2017,” MPIC said.

Majority of TLW’s operating capacity will be supplied to industrial parks, it added.

The transaction date for the acquisition of the 37.926 million shares was on June 11. The price per share was at around 22,800 or P52.70. The shares were bought from an existing shareholder of TLW.

MPIC said TLW’s main project assets include the Song Lam Raw Water Treatment Plant (Song Lam RWP), a 50-year build-own-operate (BOO) project through 2064 with an installed capacity of 200 MLD expandable to 300 MLD.

Song Lam RWP supplies raw water to Nghe An Water Supply JSC and surrounding industrial parks. Nghe An is the largest province in Vietnam by area and has a population of about 3.1 million people.

TLW is also behind the Ho Cau Moi Water Treatment Plant (HCM WTP), a 50-year BOO project through 2066 with an installed capacity of 90 MLD expandable to 120 MLD.

HCM WTP supplies treated water to Dong Nai Water Co. and surrounding industrial parks. Dong Nai province is the manufacturing satellite of Ho Chi Minh City and will be the location of the Long Thanh International Airport — the city’s new 100-million passenger airport. Dong Nai province has a population of about 2.9 million.

TLW’s third main project is the Nhon Trach 6A Sewage Treatment Plant (NT6A STP), a 50-year BOO from 2017 to 2066 with an installed capacity of 20 MLD expandable to 40 MLD. It is the wastewater treatment facility for the 400-hectare Nhon Trach 6 Industrial Park in Dong Nai province.

The latest investment allowed MPIC to expand its business in Vietnam where it acquired a 45% stake in water company BOO Phu Ninh Water Treatment Plant Joint Stock Company (PNW) for P615 million in November.

MPIC, with the expertise of its unit Maynilad Water Services, Inc., has been looking to expand its water venture in Southeast Asia.

The conglomerate has been broadening its presence in the region, led by the tollways group which has invested in Thailand, Vietnam and Indonesia in line with plans to establish a Pan-ASEAN company.

On Monday, shares in Metro Pacific rose 0.80% to close at P5.05 each.

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. — Victor V. Saulon