Brookfield Hunts For Buyouts

Brookfield Asset Management is eyeing an acquisition run as it believes there are many public companies that are undervalued in the current environment.
Staff Reporter | USA | Property Management

Brookfield Asset Management Inc. has more than $110 billion to invest and is eagerly eyeing deal opportunities, including buyouts of mispriced public companies.

“There cannot be a better time to be a value investor,” Anuj Ranjan, managing partner and head of business development at Brookfield, said in a Bloomberg Television interview Thursday. “This environment actually limits competition and creates a ton of opportunity. It’s an opportune time to have that kind of dry powder.”

Toronto-based Brookfield has been focusing on cash-generative businesses and invested some $30 billion in the past 18 months, Ranjan said. Recent acquisitions include UK household repairs provider HomeServe Plc, and a stake in Deutsche Telekom AG’s towers unit.

It’s a “great time” to do deals as long as you “plan for the bumps in the road that we have ahead,” according to Ranjan, who also heads Brookfield’s Europe and Asia-Pacific private equity business. As difficult as the next six to 12 months might be, he said they won’t have a huge impact on the long-term value of resilient businesses.

“Public markets are not valuing businesses the way that private markets are,” Ranjan said. “Today, I think private sponsors should be doing more public-to-privates.”

Brookfield has expanded its office presence across Europe in recent years and now manages around 300 people in the region. The firm has sought growth in turmoil before. In the years following the financial crisis, it struck two transformational deals, buying into Australia’s Babcock & Brown Infrastructure Group in 2009 and US mall operator General Growth Properties Inc. the following year.

 Both helped increase its exposure to key areas like infrastructure and real estate.

One strong focus for Brookfield is the world’s move toward cleaner forms of energy -- a shift that’s been given new impetus by Russia’s war in Ukraine and its impact on the price of fossil fuels.