By Myrna M. Velasco
Rising business tycoon Dennis A. Uy of Davao City is eyeing another major venture via the planned US$2.0-billion “iconic tower project” that will soon spring up at the Fort Bonifacio complex jointly housing the Philippine National Oil Company (PNOC) and the Department of Energy (DOE).
According to PNOC President and Chief Executive Officer Reuben S. Lista, the Uy-led Udenna Corporation has submitted its letter of intent (LOI) for the venture, although it has yet to reinforce that interest with a formal proposal.
Aside from Uy, one other local company is targeting this government-underpinned property development; while the interested foreign entity is a Chinese firm.
“We received three. There were other letters of intent, but those that were a bit complete came from three proponents, but there were certain requirements that they were also not able to comply with,” Lista qualified.
If this venture will eventually thrive into Uy’s investment portfolio, it will be the second gigantic real estate play that he will be engaging in – the first one being the US$1.0-billion Clark Global City, a 177-hectare property development venture at the free port zone in Pampanga.
Lista said the cost of the property, which is sprawling an area of 5.3 hectares, had been appraised at US$1.0 billion; and the corresponding developments being set on blueprint will cost additional US$1.0 billion more – hence, the total project cost is initially penciled in at US$2.0 billion.
PNOC executives emphasized though that numbers are still preliminary because these are still for validation when the final master plan on the project is drawn.
“The proposals that we received – there’s commercial, residential and then it should house the DOE, PNOC and its subsidiaries and other energy companies that would like to locate,” lawyer Graciela M. Barleta, PNOC senior vice president for legal, administration and estate management has noted.
The PNOC is the owner of the property that will be hosting the “iconic tower,” but its overall development comes with the compass of the DOE, chiefly the technical working group led by Energy Undersecretary Jesus Cristino P. Posadas.
“Currently, we are already doing joint venture meetings with potential advisors for the ‘Iconic Tower Project’ and we intend to make a joint master plan for the entire complex because it will be very difficult if we do not have what we say as ‘minimum performance classification’ standards (MPSS) for both PNOC and DOE,” Lista expounded.
The PNOC chief further divulged “we have received offers previously from interested parties… but the PNOC-TWG with the concurrence of the DOE had already returned these proposals since they are also not compliant with the requirements.”
Lista explained that as a state-run company, PNOC has specific requirements when it comes to entering into joint venture (JV) or build-operate-transfer (BOT) deals with the private sector.
Barleta added “we have not yet looked into that (equity percentage to be offered to strategic partner) because we still need to have that master plan – that will determine the equity and also, we are trying to get the consultant who will help us look into the financial aspects of the property development.”