Global Airport News

Global Airport News

Philippine conglomerate San Miguel said it may bid for the troubled Terminal 3 of Manila's international airport if it was put on the auction block, but the government said a legal dispute needed to be resolved before any sale.

The terminal has been the subject of a long-running dispute between German airport operator Fraport and the government. Fraport has made a fresh attempt to get more than USD$425 million in compensation related to the project.

In a stock exchange disclosure, San Miguel said it might be a bidder for the terminal if the government sought bids.

The BusinessMirror paper reported Philco Aero, a San Miguel-led consortium that includes Korea Airports and Posco Engineering and Construction, had sent a letter of interest in the terminal to the government.

The proposal also included an offer to buy a stake in flag carrier Philippine Airlines, the report said.

The government wanted the dispute with Fraport resolved first before considering selling the terminal, presidential spokesman Ricky Carandang said, adding there had not been any talks with San Miguel about a possible sale.

"We would like to see it resolved before the end of the year," Carandang said. "If the outstanding issues get resolved quicker, then we will be in the position to consider proposals."

The terminal, with a capacity of 13 million passengers a year, was scheduled to be in service in late 2002 but has only been partially opened due to the dispute. Manila seized it in 2004 due to a contract dispute with a Fraport-led consortium.

San Miguel, the dominant player in the food and beverage industry, has diversified over the past three years into power, mining, infrastructure, telecommunications and oil refining to fuel growth.

Last week, it said it raised USD$900 million through a sale of exchangeable bonds and shares, part of which will be used to fund infrastructure