The GMR-Megawide Consortium has paid PHP14.4bn ($320m) to the Mactan Cebu International Airport Authority in the Philippines as an upfront premium for the award of the concession of the Mactan Cebu International Airport.
Following the transaction, the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC), Republic of Philippines and Mactan Cebu International Airport Authority (MCIAA) signed the concession agreement with GMR Megawide Consortium.
This is the beginning of a transition phase before the operations of Mactan Cebu International Airport are formally handed over to GMR-Megawide later in the year.
GMR Group group chairman GM Rao said, "By making the upfront payment of P14.4bn within the stipulated time we have clearly demonstrated our credentials and capabilities to take up this prestigious project.
"This is just the first step in our endeavour to transform the Mactan Cebu International Airport into a world class airport destination.
"Using GMR Group's proven expertise in airport development and operations, we will focus our efforts in making MCIA into an efficient passenger-oriented and commercially sustainable airport that will make a significant contribution to the economy of Cebu."
In the international bidding process, which was completed in December 2013, the GMR-Megawide Consortium emerged as the highest bidder for the airport project after submitting a bid of PHP14.4bn
The 25-year concession contract to develop the Mactan Cebu International Airport was awarded after three months of extensive scrutiny of all six bidders.
As part of the deal, the consortium had to pay the premium amount to the government through the Mactan Cebu International Airport Authority.
The development of the new airport, which will be built under the government's Public-Private Partnership (PPP) programme, includes renovation of the existing passenger terminal building and the construction of a new terminal building to serve international flights.
GMR-Megawide also plans to build a terminal that can accommodate 25 million passengers annually.