Dubai: Brookfield Asset Management is exploring raising separate pools of capital to invest in the Middle East, as one of this year’s most active dealmakers seeks to bolster its presence in the region, people familiar with the matter said.
The Canadian firm, which currently invests in the region through its global funds, is studying options to raise dedicated money for Gulf deals, the people said, asking not to be identified as the matter is private. It’s seeking capital for both private equity buyouts as well as real estate transactions, according to the people.
Brookfield may look at buyouts in sectors including business services, financial infrastructure and health care, while in real estate, it’s keen to invest in areas like logistics firms and industrial parks in Saudi Arabia, the people said. Deliberations are in the early stages, and it wasn’t immediately clear how much Brookfield is planning to raise.
A representative for Brookfield declined to comment.
Brookfield is already one of the largest foreign investors in the Middle East with assets of about $8 billion across private equity and real estate. In June, it agreed to acquire Dubai-based credit card processor Network International Holdings for about 2.2 billion pounds ($2.7 billion).
It plans to combine Network International with Magnati, the payments business it took over from First Abu Dhabi Bank last year. Along with state-owned Investment of Dubai, Brookfield also owns ICD Brookfield Place, an office tower in the heart of Dubai’s financial district.
Brookfield’s Middle Eastern ties have been expanding as the region’s rulers seek to diversify their economies and open up to more foreign capital. Last year, Brookfield said it plans to set up a Saudi office, joining other large financial firms seeking to tap opportunities in the biggest Gulf economy.
Other asset managers are also seeking to raise dedicated funds for the region. BlackRock is seeking to raise an initial $1 billion for a new Middle East infrastructure and private equity-focused fund with some of the region’s largest sovereign wealth funds, Bloomberg News reported in May. The pool of capital could eventually increase to several billion dollars, people familiar with the matter said at the time.