Brookfield Raises Fundraising Goal as Spending Spree Continues

Brookfield Asset Management Inc., Canada’s largest alternative asset manager, is increasing its fundraising target by as much as 20 percent to $25 billion as it scours volatile global markets for purchases.

The Toronto-based asset manager said it already has $10 billion in committed capital in the first six months of the year and plans to begin raising as much as $15 billion later this year after a second quarter spending spree.

“We continue to see opportunities to put capital to work at attractive valuations,” Chief Executive Officer Bruce Flatt said in the company’s earnings statement.

Brookfield deployed $4 billion on new investments during the second quarter, bringing overall spending over the past 12 months to $16 billion, Flatt said in a letter to shareholders. New assets include the Canary Wharf business center in London, European telecom towers and its expanding South American rail network.

Brookfield’s assets under management reached $218 billion at the end of the second quarter, making it larger than Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, which manages C$265 billion ($203 billion).

While the news during the second quarter had been dominated by the debt crisis in Greece, the Chinese market sell-off, and continued anxiety over interest rate hikes in the U.S., Brookfield remains undeterred, Flatt said.

“None of these events has given us any pause about the continued recovery of the U.S. economy,” he said in the letter. “Despite this, we have been net sellers of assets in the U.S., given the robust amounts of capital available to investors.”

Oil Chase

Brookfield said it received $3 billion in proceeds form the sale of mature assets such as an electrical transmission network in the northeastern U.S., a California wind farm, and interests in commercial properties.

The company continues to look for investment in the embattled oil and gas sector, and in emerging markets like Brazil and India, Flatt said.

“Two important items that can enable positioning for luck are finding a business where the pie for everyone is expanding, and investing in countries or companies that are well run,” he said. “In short, it is easier to ride the wave than fight the tide.”

Brookfield reported net income of $1.2 billion, or 62 cents a share in the second quarter, below the $1.6 billion or 79 cents a share it reported last year but ahead of the average 29 cents a share estimate of analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.

Revenue for the quarter of $4.9 billion also beat analysts’ expectations of $4.7 billion, the data show. Its free cash flow per share from operations was 50 cents a share, the company said.

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