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Metro Pacific chairman: $5.62m logistics deal 'not the last' for 2017

Philippine conglomerate eyes expansion of operations as a major pillar of business

Metro Pacific Investment Chairman Manuel Pangilinan

MANILA -- Philippine infrastructure conglomerate Metro Pacific Investments plans to make more acquisitions to expand its new logistics operations, company Chairman Manuel Pangilinan said on Tuesday.

Metro Pacific made its foray into logistics last year, creating a new leg in the $4.36 billion conglomerate by market cap, which mostly deals in power retailing, water distribution, tollways and hospital operations.

On Jan. 24, Metro Pacific said its subsidiary Premier Logistics signed a deal to acquire certain assets of Ace Logistics for 280 million pesos ($5.62 million).

Ace has operations in warehousing, courier express and parcel delivery, e-commerce delivery, trucking, freight forwarding, customs brokerage, and domestic shipping, and earns annual revenue of 700 million pesos.

The investment in Ace is the first acquisition since Metro Pacific ventured into logistics, "but not the last" for this year, Pangilinan told reporters. He added that the company may conduct bigger purchases in line with the 5 billion peso investment plan to grow the business over the next five years.

"We want it to be one of the major pillars of MPIC, moving forward," he said.

Pangilinan said the country, which is to date the fastest growing economy in East Asia, needs better logistics infrastructure. "The cost of moving goods between Manila and [southern island of] Mindanao, is more expensive than moving here to Europe" he said.

Metro Pacific is the local unit of Hong Kong-listed First Pacific, a company controlled by Indonesia's Salim Group. Pangilinan said the logistics arm could also serve the freight requirements of Philippine companies under First Pacific, including telecom giant PLDT and sugar producer Roxas Holdings.

Metro Pacific, which runs toll roads in the main island of Luzon, is also bidding for railways and airport projects, which are vital infrastructure for logistics.

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