ABOITIZ InfraCapital Inc. (AIC) has entered into an agreement with Megawide Construction Corp. (Megawide) and GMR Airports International BV (GAIBV) for the former to acquire shares in GMR Megawide Cebu Airport Corp. (GMCAC), the developer and operator of the award-winning Mactan Cebu International Airport (MCIA).

After months of deliberations, Megawide and GAIBV are bringing Aboitiz into GMCAC as a strong and reputable investor with deep roots in Cebu. This agreement hopes to propel MCIA to the next level and establish its status as the Philippines' premier international airport.

AIC is acquiring a 33 and 1/3 percent minus 1 share stake in GMCAC through a combination of a primary infusion and secondary purchase of shares from Megawide and GAIBV to the tune of P9.5 billion. In addition, GMCAC shall utilize a portion of the primary infusion to acquire certain identified entities providing services at MCIA.

Megawide and GAIBV have also agreed to issue exchangeable notes to AIC for the aggregate amount of P15.5 billion. These notes will mature on Oct. 30, 2024, and will be exchanged by AIC for the remaining 66 and 2/3 percent plus 1 share of GMCAC's outstanding capital stock. GMR Infrastructure Ltd. will continue to provide support as the technical services provider to GMCAC.

The investment is a vote of confidence for the travel sector, which has been steadily improving in the past few months. Latest MCIA statistics show that it welcomed more than 2 million passengers during the first half of 2022, a 350-percent increase as opposed to the 470,000 passengers in the same period of the previous year.

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"We, at Aboitiz InfraCapital, are happy to partner with GMR-Megawide for the continued growth and development of the Mactan-Cebu International Airport. The GMR-Megawide Consortium has done a tremendous job by significantly expanding the airport over the pre-pandemic years — almost tripling passenger traffic in five years. This is quite an accomplishment in setting up a solid foundation for the future," said AIC President and Chief Executive Officer Cosette Canilao.

"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 through Aboitiz Data Innovation to tech-up the airport's operations. We are excited to take MCIA to new heights which will bring in more progress to the province, region and country," Canilao further explained.

For this transaction, AlphaPrimus Advisors acted as financial advisor to AIC while Gulapa Law served as legal counsel for the same.