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Who’s behind the 4 consortia bidding for P170.6-B NAIA privatization?

The race is officially on for the privatization of Ninoy Aquino International Airport’s (NAIA) after four consortia, composed of local and foreign powerhouses, submitted bids for the project.

The bidding for the P170.6-billion NAIA Public-Private Partnership (PPP) initiative is now in motion after the Department of Transportation’s Bids and Awards Committee (BAC) deemed the bid documents submitted by the four groups complete and would be subjected to thorough technical and financial review.

The four consortia vying to rehabilitate and operate the country’s main gateway are the Manila International Airport Consortium, Asian Airport Consortium, GMR Airports Consortium, and SMC SAP and Company Consortium.

But who are behind these mega consortia competing with one another to take over NAIA?

Manila International Airport Consortium

The first to submit, at 6:56 a.m. on Wednesday, was MIAC —composed of its US-based Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP) and local conglomerates Aboitiz Infracapital, AC Infrastructure Holding, Alliance Global Infracorp Development, Asia’s Emerging Dragon, Filinvest Development, and JG Summit Infrastructure Holdings.

This is the same group which submitted a P267-billion unsolicited proposal to rehabilitate and develop NAIA into a modernized gateway, but their proposal was deemed “de facto closed” after the government opted to proceed with the privatization plan under a competitive bidding.

GIP, the foreign member of the MIAC, is a New York-based infrastructure investment house. Among its portfolio of airport investments are the Edinburgh Airport, Gatwick Airport, and London City Airport.

Aboitiz Infracapital is the infrastructure arm of Aboitiz Group. Its current businesses include economic or industrial estates, bulk water projects, and digital infrastructure. It is also managing the Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA) together with Megawide and GMR group.

AC Infrastructure, on the other hand, is Ayala Corp.’s unit for investments in infrastructure. It has been awarded three PPP projects to date, namely the Muntinlupa-Cavite Expressway (before its eventual turnover to Villar Group), the automated fare collection system project for Metro Manila’s light rail systems through a consortium with First Pacific and Ayala groups, and the maintenance and extension of LRT-1 together with Metro Pacific and Macquarie groups.

Alliance Global Infracorp Development is real estate tycoon Andrew Tan’s Alliance Global Group’s unit created to handle and participate in infrastructure projects.

Asia’s Emerging Dragon was originally a firm formed by taipans in 1993 to engage in construction and development of infrastructure and now under Lucio Tan’s LT Group. 

Filinvest Development is the Gotianun family’s conglomerate with various interests in real estate, banking, power generation, and airport operations through a 25-year contract to operate and maintain Clark International Airport through a consortium firm Luzon International Premier Airport Development Corp.

JG Summit Infrastructure Holdings is the infrastructure unit of Gokongwei group. Together with Filinvest Development, Changi Airports Philippines, and Philippine Ground Support Solutions Inc., it manages the Clark International Airport.

Asian Airport Consortium

The second to submit, at 7:24 a.m. on December 27, was the Asian Airport Consortium. Its members are Asian Infrastructure and Management Corp., Cosco Capital Inc., Philippine Skylanders International, and PT Angkasa Pura II.

Among the known members of this consortium is listed retail holding firm Cosco Capital of tycoon Lucio Co. The company has interest in retail through Puregold and S&R, real estate, liquor distribution, oil and mineral exploration, among others.

PT Angkasa Pura II, the foreign member in the consortium, is an Indonesian state-owned company which oversees the operations of several airports such as the Soekarno-Hatta Airport —the biggest airport in Indonesia.

Philippine Skylanders International is a logistics company operating at the NAIA complex while there is not much information available for Asian Infrastructure and Management Corp., except its website which shows its office address is in Taguig City.

GMR Airports Consortium

The third to submit bid documents, at 7:52 a.m., was GMR Airports Consortium and is composed of GMR Airports International B.V., Cavitex Holdings Inc., and House of Investments Inc.

The GMR group, based in India, is among the largest private operators in Asia. Its portfolio includes the Delhi International Airport as well as the Mactan-Cebu International Airport in partnership with Megawide.

Cavitex Holdings was the company responsible for the development, design and construction of the Manila-Cavite Expressway (Cavitex) that was eventually acquired by Metro Pacific Investments Corp.

House of Investments is the investment holding company of Yuchengco group. It owns construction firm EEI Corp. and has portfolio investments in energy, pharmaceuticals, and death care. It also owns and operates car dealerships under the Honda, Isuzu, and Geely brands.

SMC SAP and Company Consortium 

The last to submit, at 8:59 a.m., was SMC SAP and Company Consortium composed of San Miguel Holdings Corp., RMM Asian Logistics Inc., RLW Aviation Development Inc., and Incheon International Airport Corporation (IIAC).

Among the prominent members of the consortium are San Miguel and IIAC, which have track records on airport development.

San Miguel is among the largest and most diversified conglomerates in the Philippines with interests in food and beverage, packaging, fuel and oil, energy, and infrastructure. It is currently developing the over P700-billion New Manila International Airport in Bulacan, envisioned to be an alternative gateway to decongest NAIA.

Incheon International Airport Corporation, meanwhile, is the developer and operator of the Incheon International Airport —the largest airport in South Korea which opened in 2001.

The DOTr, the agency in charge of the NAIA privatization project, is targeting to award the 15-year concession of the airport’s operations and maintenance to the winning bidder by the first quarter of 2024.

The winning consortium would need to make an upfront payment of P30 billion to the government and another P2 billion in annuity payments. It will operate NAIA under a 15-year Rehabilitate-Operate-Expand-Transfer concession deal, with an option for a 10-year extension.

The DOTr earlier said the bidder that offers the biggest share of their revenue from managing NAIA would win the project, with the concession agreement indicating a filed P2-billion annuity payment.—RF, GMA Integrated News