SMC wrests control of port from Romero

Conglomerate San Miguel Corp. has taken majority control of Manila North Harbor Port Inc., a company that operates the country’s largest domestic port in Tondo, Manila.

San Miguel president and chief operating officer Ramon Ang, during an investors’ briefing on the company’s P30-billion preferred shares offering, the group subscribed additional shares in the port terminal, bringing its total stake in MNHPI to nearly 80 percent.

“We just completed the increase in capitalization and acquired some shares in Mania North Harbor Port. We are now about 80 percent of the company,” Ang said.

Ramon Ang
San Miguel’s unit San Miguel Holdings Corp. said in a regulatory filing it subscribed to and fully paid for 13 million common shares of MNPHI at a price of P100 apiece. 

“Subscription of SMHC to the shares of MNHPI resulted in SMHC owning 43.33-percent equity interest in MNHPI,” San Miguel said.

Prior to the transaction, MNHPI was 65-percent owned by Romero-led Harbor Center Port Terminal Inc. and  35 percent by San Miguel-owned Petron Corp.

With San Miguel’s acquisition of additional 43.44-percent stake, the conglomerate as a group now controls a 78.33-percent interest in the port terminal firm.

HCPTI ownership is currently being disputed by businessman Reghis Romero and his son Michael.

San Miguel also owns two grain terminals in Mariveles, Bataan and Mabini, Batangas.

MNHPI won the 25-year contract to manage, develop and operate the 52-hectare seaport terminal. 

The company earlier committed to invest P14.5 billion to develop the port facility. Aside from developing passenger port terminal with capacity to serve two million to three passengers per year, the company plans to build a container yard.

Meanwhile, Ang said he expected the conglomerate’s infrastructure business, including airport, tollways and road projects, to be bigger than its oil and power businesses combined by 2020 in terms of market valuation.

Among the ongoing infrastructure projects of the conglomerate are the North and South Connector Road, the MRT Line 7 project, South Luzon Expressway, Tarlac-La Union Pangasinan Tollway project, NAIA Expressway, Boracay Caticlan Airport and the Southern Luzon Arterial Road Project.

Petron is also expected to post P18 billion in net income this year despite continued decline in world fuel prices.

Ang said Petron would be able to deliver $650 million in cash-flow for the year, as the recently expanded oil refinery in Bataan achieved maximum economic liquid yield of 93 percent, up from 60 percent before the refinery was expanded.

“We are quite lucky that the technology we have chosen in the upgrading the refinery in Philippines is really very successful. Can you imagine at $30 per barrel, we are tracking $650 million in cash-flow? So for this year 2016, Petron should [earn] P18 billion net income at $30 per barrel. So that was a very successful expansion,” Ang said.

Topics: San Miguel Corp. , SMC , Manila North Harbor Port Inc. , Reghis Romero
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