News Article | 3/14/2012

Brookfield Asset Management, Perot Firm Enter US Warehouse Venture

Brookfield Asset Management Inc. (BAM, BAM.A.T) agreed to an industrial property-focused joint venture with a Texas real-estate investor and developer owned by Ross Perot Jr.

The venture, which is expected to mostly include large warehouses in the U.S., has an equity commitment of $400 million, and expects to invest as much as $1 billion within the first three years.

Brookfield and Perot’s Hillwood said in a statement the venture represents one of the more significant commitments to U.S. industrial real estate since the economic downturn that began in 2008.

The Toronto investment giant established a bridgehead in U.S. real estate during the downturn of the early 1990s. Through much of the last decade, Brookfield has primarily focused its real-estate efforts in the U.S. on building its office holdings.

Hillwood Chairman Ross Perot Jr., son of the computer billionaire and former U.S. third-party presidential candidate, said the partnership is well-positioned to benefit from renewed demand for industrial space that will increase as the economy continues to strengthen.

Brookfield Managing Partner David Arthur said the move expands the scope of the company’s real-estate platform in an exciting asset class and strengthens its global property operations ahead of the expected launch later this year of its flagship property vehicle, Brookfield Property Partners.

Brookfield shares were down 9 cents at $32.22 in early trading. The stock is up about 17% this year.