Brookfield Asset Management heads into Europe’s growing market storm with an open checkbook.
With many of its peers reluctant to commit capital to the region amid an ever-growing list of risk factors, the $725 billion Canadian investment giant plans to raise fresh cash.
“Honestly, we love these types of markets,” said Anuj Ranjan, who leads business development at Brookfield and heads private equity in Europe and Asia Pacific, in an interview in London. “The reason we’re excited is that it makes the market less competitive.”
At more than $12 billion this year, Brookfield’s spending in Europe has already hit an annual record, data from Bloomberg shows, fueled by acquisitions of British home repairs provider HomeServe and real estate companies Hibernia REIT and Befimmo.
In another sign of its ambitions to land a deal, the infrastructure specialist has also partnered with Cellnex Telecom to pursue a bid for Deutsche Telekom’s $20 billion tower unit.
“For our infrastructure and renewable energy sectors, we expect the end of the year to be busy,” said Connor Teskey, Brookfield’s head of Europe. “Very busy.”
Brookfield made its first investments in Europe 20 years ago. His early bets were focused on real estate before the 2008 financial crisis caused the net to be cast wider to take advantage of opportunities in infrastructure, renewable energy, private equity and credit.
According to Mr. Teskey, the company now manages more than $125 billion in Europe, up from about $6 billion a decade ago, and employs about 300 people in the region. While most are based in London, there are plans to set up operations in other major financial centers in Europe.
“We covered Iberia from Madrid. We are now looking more and more towards Germany. No question, France will follow shortly after,” he said. “We don’t see anything in our business today to indicate that our European expansion would slow down.”
Brookfield has looked for growth in turbulence before. In the years following the financial crisis, the company completed two transformation deals, buying Australia’s Babcock & Brown Infrastructure Group in 2009 and US mall operator General Growth Properties the following year.
“We are actively exploring transformational opportunities like this in this environment,” said Mr. Rajan, adding that technology is a relatively new area of interest for the group, particularly for mature software and technology services companies.”
A key area of focus for Brookfield is the global shift to cleaner forms of energy, a shift fueled by Russia’s war in Ukraine and its impact on fossil fuel prices.
In June, she raised $15 billion for a special energy transition fund to be co-led by Mr Teskey and Mark Carney, former Bank of England governor. Brookfield already has agreements to spend around $2.5 billion from the fund, including Germany and the UK.
In addition, it will seek to invest in companies that want to decarbonize but lack the capital and operational know-how to do so.
https://www.independent.ie/business/world/hibernia-reit-buyer-brookfield-is-back-on-the-european-acquisition-trail-41816750.html Hibernia Reit’s buyer, Brookfield, is back on the European acquisitions track