Manila Water targets deals to expand presence in PHL

A top official of Manila Water Co. Inc. said over the weekend that the water concessionaire might seal another deal soon that would expand its presence in the country.

“We’d like to close a few deals before the end of the year. Hopefully, if we can swing it, at least one, before the end of the year,” Manila Water Chief Administrative Officer Roberto Locsin told reporters. He was referring to “local” acquisition deals.

Previously, its subsidiary, Manila Water Philippine Ventures Inc., bought 107,601,639 shares of Metropac Water Investments Corp. (MWC) in Manila Water Consortium, Inc. (MWCon). The deal hiked Manila Water’s interest in the consortium to 84 percent.

This is part of the company’s strategic direction to maximize the potential of existing business.

Manila Water is already present in Makati, Pasig, Pateros, Marikina, Mandaluyong, San Juan, Taguig, some parts of Quezon City, Manila, and Rizal province.

It also has partnerships with water districts in Tagum, Davao del Norte; Bulacan; Clark in Pangasinan; Calasiao in Pangasinan; San Jose in Nueva Ecija; Laguna; and Boracay in Aklan.

Outside the country, Manila Water is present in Thailand, Vietnam, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia and Myanmar.

As part of the Razon Group, Manila Water can also expand in the areas within the group’s port operations in Southeast Asia and the Middle East. Also, Latin America and Africa are being considered for expansion.

“We’re doing a lot of work now. The deal pipeline is healthy. It’s just that these things take time. It’s infra, some of it is brownfield, some of it is greenfield. Some are existing businesses being sold…We want to self-fund our venture and not borrow from the bank. We want to make sure that the funding is in line with revenue expectations,” said Locsin.