Metro Pacific Investments to avoid Swiss Challenge for NLEX-SLEX road

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Metro Pacific Investments to avoid Swiss Challenge for NLEX-SLEX road

Metro Pacific Investments (MPIC), which submitted an unsolicited proposal for the NLEX-SLEX connector road project months ago, has sealed a deal with state-run Philippine National Construction Corp. (PNCC) where the state-run firm will get a 6 % share in gross revenues and will maintain its 2.5 % equity in the project.

Manila North Tollways Corp. (MNTC), MPIC's subsidiary and concessionaire of the NLEX road, signed the deal. The company proposed to build the highway for P22.95 billion (US$520 million).

Christopher Lizo, Metro Pacific Tollways Corp chief financial officer, said:

MNTC signed an agreement with PNCC . The agreement is that the connector road will be done under MNTC and the terms of the agreement is substantially the same as the terms of the existing concession of NLEX now.

Since the proposal is unsolicited, government rules require that the offer be subject to a Swiss challenge. To go around this requirement, Metro Pacific Investments and PNCC amended the scope of an existing Supplemental Toll Operations Agreement (STOA) to include the NLEX-SLEX Connector Road.

Mr. Lizo said that they were opened to bring in a private financial partner to fund equity for the project. He said the project had attracted "a lot of interest" from local and foreign firms. He mentioned that the Japanese expressway operators were the original partners here, but the process took too long.

The project involves the construction of a 13.4 km. 4-lane elevated expressway over the Philippine National Railway (PNR) right of way which starts at Caloocan City and ends in Buendia, Makati City. It will connect North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) and South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) to decongest traffic in Metro Manila.

Expected completion date of the project is on June 2016, or before the end of the term of President Benigno S. Aquino III.

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