Home » Ports/Terminals » Philippine port operator eyes P3B for local, overseas expansion

THE Romero group of the Philippines, which owns private port operator Harbour Centre Port Terminals, Inc (HCPTI), is eyeing to raise about P3 billion to fuel its port expansion.

The group’s port assets will be consolidated under newly acquired listed firm MIC Holdings Inc, according to HCPTI president and chief executive Michael Romero.

Sultan 900 Capital, Inc, owned by the Romeros, recently acquired 95.22% of MIC Holdings, Inc, a dormant public company, for P175 million from Philippine businessman Antonio Cojuangco.

Romero said MIC Holdings would be used as a vehicle for the “backdoor” listing of its port assets, HCPTI and its unit, Manila North Harbour Port Inc.

“We’re looking at raising about P2 billion to P3 billion through a follow-on offering,” Romero said.

“We are going international and may possibly acquire two of the five international ports we have been eyeing within the year. We will be raising $100 million for the acquisition of the two ports but the amount will also be dependent on the size and capacity of the ports,” he said.

“We bidded in Guam and will be having a joint venture port operations with a petrochemical company for a private port in Vietnam.”

Three more international ports – in Sri Lanka, Indonesia and Vladivostok in Russia — are eyed next year.

HCPTI and MIC are also looking at ports in Visayas and Mindanao, southern Philippines, earmarking another $100 million for those projects.

For now, HCPTI along with joint venture partner San Miguel Corp is modernizing North Port in Manila. The joint venture earlier committed to invest P14.5 billion in the North Harbor terminal, particularly to reconfigure existing ports by expanding operational area from 52 hectares to 70 hectares.

MNHPI expects to increase the port’s capacity to 5 million twenty-foot equivalent units a year from the current 1.5 million.

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