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Philippines' Metro Pacific expanding into Indonesia

Salim Group's infrastructure unit to focus on tollway development

North Luzon Expressway is an 84km toll road operated by Metro Pacific Tollways.

MANILA -- Philippine infrastructure conglomerate Metro Pacific Investments is expanding into Indonesia, the home turf of its principal shareholder, Salim Group.

Metro Pacific told the Philippine Stock Exchange on Monday that a unit of its tollway arm -- Metro Pacific Tollways -- had acquired a 42.25% stake in Nusantara Infrastructure for $132 million, bringing its shareholdings to 47.08%.

Nusantara's portfolio covers toll roads, ports, water, energy and telecommunications, sectors in which Metro Pacific operates, except for port operations. Metro Pacific affiliate PLDT is the Philippines' biggest telecom company.

Metro Pacific will focus on developing Nusantara's tollway business.

"MPTC will support the existing management of Nusantara by sharing our brand of service and helping the Indonesian firm realize its growth potential, especially in the toll road sector," said Rodrigo Franco, CEO of Metro Pacific Tollways.

Nusantara operates a total 34.47km of toll roads, which connect to an airport, a seaport and business districts. Metro Pacific Tollways, meanwhile, runs 192km of toll roads in the main island of Luzon, and has proposed new projects elsewhere in the country.

Metro Pacific Chairman Manuel Pangilinan said he is aiming to bring Metro Pacific's infrastructure expertise to the rest of Southeast Asia. The conglomerate has previously acquired shares in Thai and Vietnamese toll road companies.

Metro Pacific is a Philippine unit of First Pacific, Salim's Hong Kong-listed investment house.

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