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Brookfield announces $1 bln equity offering to fund new deals: Reuters

(Reuters) – Brookfield Asset Management Inc said on Monday it is raising US$1.1 billion through a new equity issue that will help the alternative asset manager fund some of the deals it is currently eyeing.

The company, which recently announced a three-for-two stock split, also said it plans to boost its quarterly dividend payout 6 percent to 12 cents a share, on a post-split basis.

“We are working on a number of attractive opportunities that will enable us to invest this capital, and while we rarely issue common shares, this capital should provide greater flexibility,” said Brookfield’s Chief Executive Bruce Flatt, in a statement.

The Toronto-based company that owns a vast portfolio of real estate, energy and infrastructure assets is widely viewed as one of the front runners in a number of ongoing sales processes.

Last week, Reuters reported that Brookfield was one of five companies bidding to win control of the Colombian government’s controlling stake in electricity generator Isagen SA.

The sale of the 57.6 percent stake is expected to raise some 5 trillion pesos (US$2 billion).

Separately, Bloomberg reported last week that Brookfield is in advanced talks to acquire sugar processor Renuka do Brasil SA for about 1.5 billion reais (US$490 million) in debt.

Earlier this month, U.S. oil and gas company Apache Corp said it had agreed to sell its exploration and production unit in Australia for US$2.1 billion to a consortium of funds managed by Macquarie Capital Group Ltd and Brookfield.

Brookfield said the 17.9 million Class A shares will be sold on a bought deal basis by a syndicate of underwriters co-led by CIBC, RBC Capital Markets, Citigroup Global Markets Canada and Deutsche Bank Securities, at a price of US$56 a share. If the over-allotment option on the deal is tapped, proceeds from the deal could jump to US$1.23 billion, the company said.

“We have been increasing our capital resources throughout the organization, including our listed partnerships, through asset sales, long term debt placements and equity issues,” said Flatt, adding that issuing equity would further boost the firm’s ability to pursue the wide array of investment opportunities in front of it.

(Reporting by Euan Rocha; Editing by Bernard Orr)

(This story has been edited by Kirk Falconer, editor of peHUB Canada)

Photo courtesy of Reuters/Mark Blinch