Vista Land seeks partners for govt's infra, power, water projects
MANILA, Philippines - The Villar Group is on the lookout for opportunities in and partners for the government's upcoming infrastructure projects in water, power and roads under the Aquino government's public-private partnership (PPP) scheme.
Manuel Paolo A. Villar, company president and CEO of the group's flagship property firm Vista Land & Landscapes, confirmed they are currently engaged in several negotiations for this goal.
"We're in talks. We've been talking to a number of companies local and foreign about participating in the PPP," said Villar at an August 15 press briefing.
"We would probably do a joint venture or coalition with other companies," said Villar. These deals will be via Vista Land or one of its affiliates, he added.
Vista Land is active in residential and mall projects nationwide. It was founded by businessman-turned-politician Sen. Manuel Villar, the CEO's dad.
The company chief was tightlipped about which groups they were in talks with but said they started speaking with potential partners as early as 2010, when President Aquino launched the administration's infrastructure scheme.
The government has been slow to deliver on its promise. Of the 10 projects presented to investors in November 2010, only one -- the 4-km Daang Hari-SLEx toll road -- was bid out in 2011. Of the 21 projects lined up for bidding in 2012 and 2013, only two have progressed to the actual bidding stage -- the LRT Line 1 South Extension Project and the PPP for School Infrastructure Project.
"Of course it's hard to organize a coalition until you get more details. Be it an airport, road or in power, the government has to tell you exactly what is being bid on."
Finding common interests
Villar explained they are looking into PPP -- as well as non-PPP -- projects that service their in other consumer-driven sectors that will support their existing holdings.
"Obviously, water and power [are among] those are things I'm looking at. We're [also] interested in participating in [road projects]," he said.
He stressed that the Villar group is particularly interested in power projects.
"We have a number of developments that use power, like our malls (Starmalls) … a lot of power. Even our commercial [and] some residential [projects need power]… So it's a way for us to become cost effective in terms of costs," added Villar.
The company prepares to sell P2.5 billion in Homebuilder bonds to raise funds for some of these undertakings."We're cautiously optimistic about the sale of the bonds," added Villar.
Previously, two large but unlikely groups with rival telecommunications companies, Ayala Corp and Metro Pacific Investment Corp, formed an exclusive partnership to pursue rail projects under the PPP scheme.
Villar said he thought "momentum had really started on " infrastructure plans and that even the market was "excited by some of the infrastructure development that the current administration is planning. - Rappler.com