Pangilinan, Gokongwei to make joint bid for Cebu airport

Posted at 02/04/13 2:59 PM

 MANILA, Philippines - The Manuel Pangilinan group says it's resuming talks with the Gokongwei group for a joint bid to build and operate Cebu's new airport terminal.

Metro Pacific Investments Corp. president Joey Lim says they had initial talks with the Gokongwei group but was stalled by an earlier government ban against airline owners to have a stake in the airport project.

"We had preliminary discussions but could not proceed due to prohibition on airline ownership... Now that this is relaxed we plan to resume discussions,"  Lim said. 

Now that the government has backed down a joint bid with the Gokongwei group is now possible.

Before Friday, the Gokongwei group was barred because it owns Cebu Pacific and airlines and their affiliates were barred to avoid conflicts of interest. 

The ban has been lifted, allowing them to own up to 33% of the airport terminal builder and operator. The government said it relaxed the rules to open the door for more bidders, helping the government get a better deal.

"The DOTC is revising its bid criteria to encourage broader participation in the bid, in order to provide government with more competitive proposals... Airline companies (and companies linked to airlines) may own up to 33% of the company that will be given the airport terminal concession," the DOTC said. 

A Pangilinan-Gokongwei bid would compete with an Ayala-Aboitiz partnership and a Korean-Malaysian consortium. 

The Ayala-Aboitiz group says it will partner with Canada's ADC-HAS airport group. - ANC