Toronto-based landlord firm Brookfield is ready to spend €1.65 billion (£1.41 billion) in commercial property space across Europe; another sign that international investors have positive estimations about Europe's estate market future.
Brookfield, who is the largest owner of office space in North America, is looking to buy offices, warehouses and retail sites across the UK, Spain, Germany and France over the next few years, in the aim to gain a real dominance in the European market. It is hoped that these specialist sites will then be used as basic platforms to buy further assets around the continent.
This will be a shift in strategy for Brookfield, which has always been keeping its gaze on both North and South America. At the moment, only five per cent of the firm's assets are in Europe, whilst its few deals have been focused in central London. This will mean however that Brookfield will have to face stiff competition from the Middle Eastern and Asian investors dominating Europe at the moment.
As less and less distressed properties have been available on the market, many foreign investors are now wanting to push into Europe. According to the Financial Times, David Brush, a managing partner at Brookfield, said: “A lot of investors who came [to Europe] looking for distressed opportunities have been disappointed by the lack of deals, but we think it is starting to open up now and will improve this year.”
This news comes just 24 hours after Brookfield acquired the warehouse specialist Gazeley, in the aim to triple its size and give it assets of around £1 billion by 2018. Brookfield is also aiming to bid for a stake in Broadgate, the City of London estate worth around £3 billion.
Brookfield, whose sites include the World Financial Center in New York and Bank of America Plaza in Los Angeles, has $175 billion (£111.7 billion) of assets under management.