San Miguel becomes sole owner of metro line for $100m

The Philippine conglomerate has acquired the stake it didn't already own in the $1.54bn MRT Line 7 project.

San Miguel Corporation has secured full ownership of the Metro Railway Transit (MRT) Line 7 project from the project company and local businessman Salvador Zamora II for $100 million. 

The firm purchased the 49 percent stake it didn't already own in Universal LRT Corporation and a 100 percent stake in ULCOM Company, granting it full control of the metro project, according to a filing at the Jakarta Stock Exchange. 

Universal LRT Corporation has the exclusive rights to finance, design, construct, supply, complete and commission the project while ULCOM is the designate project operator. 

San Miguel acquired the 51 percent stake in Universal LRT from Zamora back in October 2010, two years after the project was awarded to the Zamora-led group by the Department of Transportation and Communications as a PPP. 

The $1.54 billion project involves the financing, design, construction, operation and maintenance of a 23km elevated railway line starting from San Jose del Monte in Bulacan and ending in North Avenue in Quezon City with 14 stations, as well as a 22km asphalt road from Bocaue Interchange of the North Luzon Expressway to the intermodal terminal in Tala. 

The project, which broke ground this April, is expected to complete by April 2020. Two railway projects, including LRT Line 6 and the South Line of the North-South Railway Project, are currently under procurement, according to the country’s PPP center. 

In addition to the metro acquisition, San Miguel has been busy building toll roads, including the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Expressway and the Skyway Stage 3 project. It also plans to re-pitch the $10 billion Manila Bay International Airport project to the Duterte administration, which took office last Thursday.