Aboitiz consolidates water utility, infrastructure investments

MANILA, Philippines – Aboitiz Equity Ventures Incorporated (AEV) consolidated its water utility investments under its infrastructure unit Aboitiz InfraCapital Incorporated, as the conglomerate starts to ramp up expansion plans in the water sector.

AEV told the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) on Thursday, August 3, that the consolidation involves Aboitiz InfraCapital's purchase of Lima Water Corporation in Batangas from sister company Aboitiz Land Incorporated.

Also on Thursday, Aboitiz InfraCapital bought an 11.14% stake in Balibago Waterworks System Incorporated for P275 million. The Aboitiz unit bought the shares from San Fernando Electric Light & Power Company.

"These acquisitions will enable [Aboitiz InfraCapital] to establish its position as a provider of water and wastewater-related services to residential, commercial, and industrial customers," Aboitiz Equity president and chief executive officer Erramon Aboitiz said in the disclosure.

"These steps are key for [Aboitiz InfraCapital] to achieve its goal of building franchises across the entire water value chain," he added.

Building franchises

Lima Water provides industrial and potable water with a daily capacity of 8,700 cubic meters and a full capacity of 40,000 cubic meters from its own deep well sources and reservoirs. For Aboitiz InfraCapital, its reservoirs and sources ensure the 24-hour availability and sufficiency of water supply in the area.

Balibago Waterworks, meanwhile, provides running water to over 150,000 households in its franchise areas. Through its investment in Balibago Waterworks, Aboitiz InfraCapital will partner with an established market player in the water sector operating over 50 water distribution franchise areas throughout the country.

The Aboitiz group's first infrastructure venture was Apo Agua Infrastructura Incorporated. It is a bulk water project that will provide Davao City with 300 million liters per day. (READ: Aboitiz Equity Ventures eyes bid for NAIA privatization)

Apo Agua, a joint venture between Aboitiz Equity Ventures and JV Angeles Construction Corporation, had previously signed an agreement with the Davao City Water District to build one of the country's largest private bulk water supply projects.

Upon completion, the facility will have a capacity of 300 million liters per day of potable water sourced from the Tamugan River to benefit Davao City’s one million residents.

Aboitiz Equity Ventures also has investments in power, banking, food, infrastructure, cement manufacturing, and real estate development.

On Thursday, shares of Aboitiz Equity closed at P72.50 each, unchanged from Wednesday, August 2. – Rappler.com