Brookfield to go bigger in Europe with Germany push

The alternatives firm plans to open a Frankfurt office as early as this year as it seeks to tap deal opportunities in Europe’s industrial powerhouse.

Brookfield Asset Management is seeking to ramp up exposure in Europe and is targeting the region’s biggest economy, with a view to potentially tripling its $120 billion of alternatives assets in the region.

The listed giant is “making a more concerted effort to accelerate the growth of our business in Europe and Asia,” Anuj Ranjan, managing partner, head of Europe and Asia private equity and global head of business development for Brookfield, told Private Equity International.

Its overall European assets across all strategies have grown to $120 billion from $6 billion in 2013, Ranjan said.

Germany, with its strong industrial base, is a target market. Of particular interest for Brookfield are large industrial assets, as well as the country’s powerhouse automotive, chemical and precision-machinery manufacturers, Ranjan said. He added that these were in line with the firm’s core investment sectors of business services, infrastructure services and industrials.

As such, the firm plans to set up a dedicated office in Frankfurt as early as this year – its third in Europe, after London and Madrid – as it builds its presence in the country, particularly for private equity. Brookfield staff already established in the country include executives focused on LP relationships, private equity investment, portfolio operations and real estate. A London-based PE professional will move to Frankfurt and head up its PE unit, Ranjan noted.

The Toronto-headquartered firm has been growing its private equity portfolio in both Europe and Asia for the past few years. Its current European PE assets total more than $20 billion. “In European PE, we are just getting started, and hope to triple the size of this business over the next few years,” said Ranjan.

The firm’s Asia-Pacific business is also growing fast, and is heading towards $100 billion in total assets across the region via core markets Australia, China, Korea, Japan and India, according to its 2021 annual report.

Brookfield is in market with its third growth equity vehicle, which is targeting $1 billion, double what it raised for its predecessor, and Brookfield Capital Partners VI, which has a $12.5 billion target, it is understood. An imminent close is expected for its debut Global Transition Fund, which is seeking $15 billion. Ranjan and a Brookfield spokesperson declined to comment on fundraising.

Brookfield has $690 billion of assets under management across private equity, renewable energy power and transition, infrastructure, real estate and credit.