Megawide, India’s GMR divesting from MCIA; Aboitiz group to take over


By Arjay L. Balinbin, Senior Reporter

Megawide Construction Corp. and its partner India’s GMR Airports International BV (GAIBV) are divesting their stakes in Mactan Cebu International Airport (MCIA).

Aboitiz InfraCapital, Inc. (AIC) will eventually operate the airport, which is currently managed by GMR-Megawide Cebu Airport Corp. (GMCAC), the joint venture of Megawide and GAIBV.

“The joint-venture partners for the 25-year concession agreement to develop, operate, and maintain MCIA — Megawide and GAIBV — agreed to sell down their existing stakes in GMCAC to accommodate the entry of AIC,” Megawide said in an e-mailed statement on Friday.

“The agreement involves GMCAC’s issuance of primary shares and the transfer of secondary shares from Megawide and GAIBV to AIC amounting to P9.5 billion, which will result in the latter owning 33 and 1/3% minus 1 share stake in GMCAC,” it added.

The transaction also involves the issuance by Megawide and GAIBV of exchangeable notes for the aggregate amount of P15.5 billion.

“The notes will mature on 30 October 2024, and will be exchanged by AIC for the remaining 66 and 2/3% plus 1 share of GMCAC’s outstanding capital stock,” Megawide said.

The company aims to “explore more resilient, high-growth, and scalable opportunities to anchor its long-term and sustainable growth agenda.”

In a separate statement, AIC said: “The investment is a vote of confidence for the travel sector, which has been steadily improving in the past few months.”

The Mactan airport welcomed over two million passengers in the first half of the year, significantly higher than the 470,000 passengers in the same period in 2021.

“Part of the larger Aboitiz group’s push to transform into a techglomerate is to infuse and leverage the group’s relationships and assets as well as explore utilizing data science and artificial intelligence thru Aboitiz Data Innovation (ADI) to tech-up the airport’s operations,” AIC President and Chief Executive Officer Cosette V. Canilao said.

“We are excited to take MCIA to new heights which will bring in more progress to the province, region, and country,” she added.