Philippines $2.4bn airport auction draws five bidders

Most of the companies vying for the bundles on offer also competed for the $392m Mactan-Cebu PPP awarded in April last year.

The Philippines’ public-private partnership (PPP) authority last week confirmed that five parties had entered the race to operate and maintain five regional airports in the country.

Cosette Canilao, executive director of the PPP Center, identified the groups that have bought bid documents as: Manila-based Aboitiz Equity Ventures; a consortium between Indian developer GMR Infrastructure and Philippine counterpart Megawide Construction Corporation; a tie-up between Philippine-based Metro Pacific Investments Corporation and JG Summit Holdings; Manila-listed San Miguel Corporation; and air cargo warehousing firm Philippine Skylanders.

The P108.2 billion (€2.3 billion; $2.4 billion) Regional Airports PPP will be divided into two bundles: the P20.26 billion Bacolod-Silay International Airport and the P30.4 billion Ilioilo International Airport will form a first package, while the P14.62 billion Laguindingan Airport, P2.34 billion New Bohol (Panglao) Airport and P40.57 billion Davao International Airport will come as part of a second batch.

Rene Limcaoco, Undersecretary of the Philippines’ Department of Transportation and Communications, said that each bundle would be awarded to a different bidder.

Aside from operation and maintenance, the contracts require winners to expand the airports’ terminals, apron, airside and landside facilities to meet future demand. The deadline and opening of qualification documents are due on May 18, with the contracts expected to be awarded in March 2016. The overall concessions have a 30-year tenure.

This is the second airport PPP being tendered by the Aquino administration following the award of a 25-year, P17.5 billion concession to modernise and operate Mactan-Cebu International Airport to Megawide and GMR last April. All parties bidding for the Regional Airports contracts – with the exception of Philippine Skylanders – were in the running for Mactan-Cebu.

Other airport deals being prepped as potential PPPs include development and operation concessions centered on the hubs of Puerto Princesa, San Fernando, Clark and Ninoy Aquino.