To Brookfield Asset Management, generating money comes naturally. The company has approximately $200 billion in assets under management, including commercial properties, power generation interests, and infrastructure holdings. It owns commercial, retail, residential, and development properties in the Americas, Europe, Asia Pacific, and the Middle East. Through its 50% stake in Brookfield Office Properties, it is one of the largest commercial landlords in Lower Manhattan. Brookfield also owns some 200 power-generating facilities, including hydroelectric and wind plants, through its 68% stake in Brookfield Renewable Energy. Other assets include a minority stake in mall owner General Growth Properties (GGP).
The company has six primary business activities: asset management, property, renewable energy, infrastructure, private equity, and corporate activities. Brookfield is especially focused on owning and operating real estate assets, including property, infrastructure, and renewable energy facilities. The company's real estate activities span the office, residential, industrial, and retail sectors, as well as real estate finance. In renewable power, Brookfield has been building up its holdings by increasing its stake in Brookfield Renewable Energy and buying or constructing new power facilities.
Headquartered in Toronto, Brookfield has a wide variety of holdings around the world, with operations in Asia, Australia, Europe, the Middle East, North America, and South America.
The company's revenues have been growing steadily over the past five years. In fiscal 2013 revenue increased 18% to $22.1 billion, versus $18.7 billion in 2012, as earnings across all operating segments rose. The strong results led to a 54% profit increase ($2.1 billion, versus $1.4 billion in 2012). Cash flow from operations also rose in 2013 -- by 53% to $2.3 billion -- as a result of Brookfield's growing profits and a change in company's the working capital.
Brookfield's private equity arm often takes stakes in struggling companies or distressed assets it can then turn around. The company is hopeful that the types of investments it specializes in -- especially property, power, and infrastructure assets -- will only improve as the world continues on its path to economic recovery. With investments in emerging markets, which today represent more than 40% of the world's gross domestic product, the company is also positioned for future growth. The company is also always on the lookout for opportunities to invest in promising markets with high barriers to entry, as well as opportunities to sell assets to raise more capital.
In 2013 the company closed on its Brookfield Infrastructure Fund II, with commitments of $7 billion (easily exceeding its original target of $5 billion). The fund's institutional investors include sovereign wealth funds, insurance companies, and pension plans. Also that year, Brookfield closed on its Timberlands Fund V, with commitments of $1 billion. That fund will invest in timberlands around the world, with an emphasis on the US, Brazil, and Australia.
Mergers and Acquisitions
Brookfield kept itself busy in 2013 with a string of widely varied acquisitions. Major purchases that year included a minority stake in warehouse/distribution parks developer EZW Gazeley (with extensive holdings in Europe); an increase of its positions in mall owners General Growth Properties and Rouse Properties; all of Los Angeles commercial property owner MPG Office Trust (for $443 million); and all of business park developer Industrial Developments International ($595 million). It bought a portfolio of 19 apartment communities in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia from Babcock & Brown Residential, further boosting its multifamily portfolio.
The company also launched refrigeration unit Brookfield Cold Storage in 2013 after acquiring the Canadian logistics operations of Millard Refrigerated Services. The deal included more than 16 million cu. ft. of storage space in two facilities located in Toronto and Calgary.