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Brookfield Eyes New CRE Investments As It Plans $100B Raise For Flagship Funds

In the wake of a strong first quarter, Brookfield Asset Management is planning to raise $100B for the company's next round of flagship funds, which will focus on commercial real estate and infrastructure.

The entrance to Brookfield Asset Management's Toronto headquarters

During Brookfield's Q1 2021 earnings call on Thursday, CEO Bruce Flatt said that raising that much capital would not be an issue. In fact, he said, Brookfield might be able to exceed that goal.

"The fundraising environment is extremely constructive today because interest rates are very low," Flatt said. "And people have learned that alternatives are a very good way to earn a decent return with low risk in their portfolio."

Flatt called the capital markets "very robust," with the demand for the kind of assets Brookfield owns strong and getting stronger.

"This provides a strong backdrop for our flagship fundraising, including our fourth real estate flagship fund soon to have a first close and our global transition fund soon thereafter," Flatt said. 

"More broadly, investor interest for all of our funds is stronger than we have ever seen," Flatt said. "As a result, we expect these funds to be larger than predecessors."

Toronto-based Brookfield reported that it was able to sell $13B of assets during Q1, generating $6.4B in profit for itself and its clients, with Brookfield's take amounting to $1.8B. Brookfield has about $57B in assets under management.

Among other first-quarter deals, Brookfield sold a 2.3M SF portfolio of life sciences properties to Blackstone Property Partners Life Sciences for $3.4B. Most of the properties were in the life sciences hub of Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Brookfield also sold part of its holdings in Brookfield Renewable Corp. during the first quarter, as well as $1.25B in shares in West Fraser Timber Co., cutting Brookfield’s ownership in the timber company from nearly 20% to 7.3%, the Globe and Mail reports. West Fraser has been benefiting from soaring lumber prices.