Brookfield Properties Corporation (BPO: NYSE, TSX) today announced a strategic repositioning plan to transform itself into a global pure-play office property company. The plan includes the acquisition of an interest in a significant portfolio of premier office properties in Australia from Brookfield Asset Management (BAM: NYSE, TSX, Euronext) as well as the divestment of Brookfield Properties’ residential land and housing business.
“This strategy will position Brookfield Properties at the forefront of the global office property scene,” stated Ric Clark, president and chief executive officer of Brookfield Properties Corporation. “Expanding internationally to dynamic gateway cities such as Sydney, Melbourne and Perth, Australia, with similar characteristics to our current North American markets, provides great operational synergies.”
Clark added: “Given its rich resource base and strong trading relationship with the world’s fastest growing economies, investment in Australia should put Brookfield Properties in a strong position to experience meaningful growth as the global economies emerge from the economic downturn. Following these transactions, Brookfield Properties will have leading office portfolios in each of the United States, Canada and Australia, as well as a modest but growing interest in the United Kingdom, transforming Brookfield Properties into the global security for investors looking for ownership in premier office assets.”
Australia Office Transaction
Brookfield Properties has agreed to enter into a transaction with Brookfield Asset Management whereby Brookfield Properties will pay Brookfield Asset Management A$1.6 billion (US$1.4 billion) for an interest in 16 premier Australian office properties comprising 8 million square feet in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth which are 99% leased. The properties have a total value of A$3.8 billion (US$3.4 billion).
Brookfield Properties’ board of directors established an independent committee to assess the transaction. The committee retained Morgan Stanley & Co., Incorporated as its financial advisor. The independent committee unanimously recommended that the board of directors approve the proposed transaction.