President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. on Friday expressed excitement over the commitment of United States (US)-based private equity firm Cerberus Global Investment LLC to pursue more investments in the Philippines. Cerberus’ investment pledges were discussed when its top executives led by former US vice president and company chairperson James Danforth Quayle made a courtesy call on Marcos at Malacañan Palace in Manila, Presidential Communications Office (PCO) Secretary Cheloy Garafil said in a statement. Garafil said Marcos is optimistic that the Philippines would regain its footing in the global shipbuilding industry, given the ‘aggressive’ investment and expansion of Cerberus, a global alternative investment firm with assets across credit, private equity and real estate strategies. ‘We’re all very excited about this project and… we have always tried to find a way to regain our position in the shipbuilding. We were already number 2 for a while and then when Hanjin closed,’ Marcos, as quoted by the PCO, told Cerberus’ top officials. In 2022, Cerberus acquired the debt-laden Hanjin shipyard at the Subic Bay Freeport. Currently, the Philippine Navy has around 800 personnel at a naval operating base in Subic, Zambales. Quayle told Marcos that Cerberus is also ‘excited’ to be a part of the Philippine economic growth story and has been planning to bring ‘more and bigger’ investments to the Philippines. Hyundai, one of the most prestigious shipbuilding firms, expressed interest in using two drydocks in Subic for shipbuilding and move to the facility by yearend. Hyundai’s plan is seen to create around 5,000 to 15,000 job opportunities in the country. Employing different approach to investment, Cerberus wants to ensure diverse economic activity by having multiple companies engaged in various businesses, Garafil said. Garafil noted that Cerberus subsidiary Subcomm, engaged in building and installing submarine cables, will also move to the facility in August this year, an initiative which could generate additional employment in the area. ‘The entry of Hyundai and Subcomm in Subic is seen create much-needed economic activity in Subic that could also benefit downstream industries in the area,’ she said. Cerberus, Garafil said, also sees value and potential in improving the Subic airport for logistics or cargo and plans to propose to the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) to convert the airport into a cargo and logistics hub. Garafil said Cerberus is also eyeing investments in the country’s semiconductors and energy sectors. Apart from Quayle, company officials who met Marcos at Malacañan were Cerberus Co-Chief Executive Frank Bruno and Co-head Alexander Benard. Cerberus, founded in 1992, manages up to USD60 billion in assets globally. The company has experience in direct investments, private equity, growth and venture transactions in various region and maintains 27 sites around the world.
Source: Philippines News Agency