James Tuckey, the European chairman of Brookfield Asset Management, confirmed that the investor had no intention of selling its Canary Wharf stake in London. Instead, plans are to increase its assets for more exposure in London’s financial hub.
As the second-largest business district in Britain, Canary Wharf and its majority-owner Songbird Estates attracted the attention of Qatari and Chinese investors. However, Mr Tuckey said that Brookfield would defend its 15 per cent share should Songbird receive any bids from would-be buyers.
Media reports of the Qatar Investment Authority’s plan for an offer to take Songbird private in June resulted in as much as a 15 per cent increase in intraday trading. This was rumoured to be the first stage of the Authority’s plan for full control of Canary Wharf.
However, Mr Tuckey said: “We don’t have any plans toour interest, we are very happy investors in the estate and, indeed, if appropriate opportunities came along, we would look to increase our stake.”
As part of plans to increase its portfolio, Brookfield will search for investment opportunities across Europe, including Germany, France, the Benelux and Spain. According to the Financial Post, Britain, and specifically London, will be on the top of the company’s priority list.
The investor?s plans for its European growth strategy could include corporate takeovers, large-scale development and portfolio purchases.
The company is a worldwide investment entity, although its European presence is at a significantly lower level than elsewhere. Hence the interest in London, where “… the risk-reward ratio is appropriate”, according to Mr Tuckey.