Infrastructure conglomerate Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC) is diversifying into the wastewater industry with a P1.8-billion deal that will give it control of Ecosystem Technologies International, Inc.’s (ESTII).

The conglomerate told the Philippine Stock Exchange on Friday its wholly owned subsidiary Metropac Water Investments Corp. (MWIC) has acquired 65% of the outstanding capital stock of ESTII.

The deal made on Thursday involves the purchase of 12 million Class A common shares from EcoSystem Technologies, Inc. (ESTI) and the subscription to 1 million Class C common shares, which represent 60% and 5% of ESTII’s outstanding capital stock respectively. ESTII ┬áserves as the engineering, procurement and construction (EPS) contractor of Maynilad Water Services, Inc. for sewage treatment plants with an aggregate capacity of at least 21,500 cubic meters per day.

MWIC acquired the Class A common shares for P1.7 billion (P141.67 apiece) and the Class C common shares for P100 million (P100 each) in cash. The company will settle the purchase of the Class A common shares in three tranches, with the first P1 billion released upon closing the deal on Thursday.

The MPIC subsidiary, meanwhile, paid the consideration for the Class C common shares in full on Thursday. “The transaction allows MPIC (through MWIC) to diversify its water sector investment holdings and invest in the high growth wastewater EPC and O&M (operations and maintenance) market,” the disclosure read.

ESTII engages in the design, supply, construction, installation, operation and maintenance of wastewater and sewage treatment facilities. “ESTII has a leading market position in the Philippine wastewater industry and has a valuable client base comprised of major mall, office, commercial and residential property developers, hotels and resorts, hospitals and industrial facilities,” MPIC noted.

Shares in the Manuel V. Pangilinan-led conglomerate were unchanged at P6.50 apiece on Friday. MPIC is one of three Philippine units of Hong Kong-based First Pacific Co. Ltd., the others being Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT) and Philex Mining Corp. Hastings Holdings, Inc. — a unit of PLDT Beneficial Trust Fund subsidiary MediaQuest Holdings, Inc. — maintains interest in BusinessWorld through the Philippine Star Group, which it controls. — Keith Richard D. Mariano