Brookfield closes in on A$4.3b acquisition of Multiplex

The Canadian firm plans to enter the Australian market with an acquisition of Multiplex, an office, retail and industrial property owner.

Brookfield Asset Management has submitted an all-cash offer of A$4.3 billion ($3.6 billion) to acquire Multiplex Group, an Australian office, retail and industrial property owner. The offer, at A$5.15 per stapled security, values Multiplex at approximately A$7.3 billion on an enterprise value basis.

By acquiring Multiplex, which was founded in 1962 by John Roberts, Toronto-based Brookfield would gain assets in Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the Middle East. The company has recommended that its shareholders accept the offer from Brookfield. Speculation about the deal has been swirling for months, driving Multiplex’s shares up more than 25% on the Australian Stock Exchange over the past six months.

Brookfield, which recently changed its name from Brascan Corp and manages $83 billion worth of property, power and timber assets in Europe and North America, already acquired a 26 per cent controlling stake in the company from the Roberts family on Monday, the former controlling shareholders of the company. Brookfield said that it needs 51 percent of the company’s remaining shareholders to approve the offer.

Multiplex, which recently completed redevelopment of London’s Wembley Stadium, has most of its properties in Australia and New Zealand, including stadiums, theatres and office towers. The Wembley project was completed one year behind schedule, costing the company an estimated $150 million.

Over the past year the firm has made eight acquisitions, including the $1.6-billion purchase of Longview Fibre, which owns nearly 600,000 acres of timberland in Washington and Oregon.