Brookfield Asset Management’s public securities group has agreed to acquire Center Coast Capital Holdings LLC, an affiliate of Houston-based Center Coast Capital Advisors, an investment adviser focused on energy infrastructure. Also, Brookfield will acquire certain assets of New York-based Liberty Street Advisors Inc, the investment adviser to the Liberty Street family of funds. And, Brookfield will acquire certain assets of Liberty Street’s affiliates, HRC Fund Associates LLC and HRC Portfolio Solutions LLC, a New York-based third-party marketing and servicing agent of CCC products to financial advisers and wealth managers . No financial terms were disclosed for any of these deals. Lowenstein Sandler served as legal adviser to Liberty Street on the deal.
New York, New York – October 10, 2017 – Brookfield Asset Management’s Public Securities Group today announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Center Coast Capital Holdings, LLC, an affiliate of Center Coast Capital Advisors, LP (“CCC”), a Houston-based SEC-registered investment adviser focusing on energy infrastructure investments, including master limited partnerships (“MLPs”), with over $4 billion in assets under management. In conjunction with the transaction, Brookfield also will acquire certain assets of Liberty Street Advisors, Inc. (“Liberty Street”), a New York-based SEC-registered investment adviser that serves as the investment adviser to the Liberty Street family of funds. Additionally, Brookfield will acquire certain assets of Liberty Street’s affiliates, HRC Fund Associates, LLC and HRC Portfolio Solutions, LLC (collectively, “HRC”), a New York-based third-party marketing and servicing agent of CCC products to financial advisors and wealth managers at major wire houses, independent registered investment advisers and independent broker-dealers. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Founded in 2007, CCC manages energy infrastructure assets with an investment process focused on due diligence from an owner-operator perspective. CCC invests in a portfolio of MLPs and other high-quality energy infrastructure companies through the following products: Center Coast MLP Focus Fund (CCCAX) (CCCCX) (CCCNX) (the “Focus Fund”); Center Coast MLP & Infrastructure Fund (NYSE: CEN); separately managed accounts; and other investment funds. Liberty Street has served as the investment adviser to the Focus Fund since its inception on December 31, 2010, and HRC has served as the marketing and servicing agent to wealth management channels for CCC products since 2011, and also serves as the shareholder servicing agent to the Center Coast MLP & Infrastructure Fund. Following the completion of the transaction, both HRC’s marketing business and Liberty Street’s advisory business with respect to the Liberty Street family of mutual funds will continue.
The acquisition of CCC will strengthen and expand Brookfield’s business and research capability, diversifying its real asset public securities investment offerings, which currently focus on real estate equities, infrastructure equities, real asset solutions and real asset debt. In addition, with the acquisition of certain HRC assets related to CCC, Brookfield will broaden its national retail distribution capability that markets its suite of public securities investment funds. CCC will benefit from Brookfield’s strong distribution relationships and the continued development of its investment team, while broadening its product offerings.
The CCC investment team, led by Dan Tutcher, Rob Chisholm and Jeff Jorgensen, will remain based in Houston and continue to manage CCC’s funds and accounts, as they have continuously done for many years. Collaboration across the CCC investment team and Brookfield’s existing real asset securities investment teams will further strengthen the research and investment processes across Brookfield’s Public Securities Group.
“Center Coast is a leader in energy infrastructure investing whose talented team, investment focus and owner-operator mentality is a complementary fit with Brookfield’s investment philosophy, and provides us with additional investment capabilities in the MLP marketplace at an attractive point in the investment cycle,” said Craig Noble, Senior Managing Partner at Brookfield and CEO of Brookfield’s Public Securities Group.
“We are excited to join Brookfield’s Public Securities Group, with its global resources, enviable track record and highly complementary investment approach,” said Dan Tutcher, Founder, Principal and Senior Portfolio Manager of CCC. “We will continue to seek to generate attractive risk-adjusted returns for our investors, while expanding our offerings to institutional clientele.”
“We believe CCC’s alignment with Brookfield provides a strong platform from which to evaluate opportunities in today’s changing MLP and energy infrastructure landscape,” added Victor Fontana, President of Liberty Street and HRC. “We look forward to working with Brookfield and CCC to ensure a seamless transition and to maximize the continuity of personnel serving the numerous financial advisors who invest in CCC strategies.”
Noble concluded: “We are excited to have the CCC team join Brookfield and continue to manage their investment strategies, which we are confident will appeal to our client base given the attractive investment opportunities in the midstream MLP and energy infrastructure sectors. The assets acquired from HRC will also help us to maintain the quality and continuity of relationships that HRC has established over several years.”
The transaction, which is subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals, including shareholder approvals for the funds, is expected to close in the first quarter of 2018.
Berkshire Capital served as financial advisor to Brookfield and Paul Hastings served as legal advisor. Sandler O’Neill + Partners, L.P. served as financial advisor to CCC and Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, Porter Hedges and Alston & Bird served as its legal advisors. Moelis & Company LLC served as financial advisor to Liberty Street and HRC and Lowenstein Sandler LLP served as legal advisor.
Matters Relating to the Center Coast Registered Funds
Consummation of the transaction will result in the automatic termination of the current investment advisory agreement between CCC and Center Coast MLP & Infrastructure Fund (“CEN”), and the current sub-advisory agreement between Liberty Street and CCC, with respect to the Focus Fund (CEN and the Focus Fund together, the “Funds”). The Board of Trustees of CEN has approved a new investment advisory agreement with Brookfield Investment Management Inc., an indirect wholly-owned subsidiary of Brookfield Asset Management Inc., and has nominated the members of the Board of Trustees of Brookfield’s suite of registered funds to serve as the Board of Trustees of CEN. The transaction is not expected to result in any material change in the portfolio management of CEN or in CEN’s investment objective or policies. The Board of Trustees of the Focus Fund has approved the reorganization of the Focus Fund into a newly formed series of Brookfield Investment Funds having the same investment objective and substantially similar principal investment strategies and risks as the Focus Fund. The Board of Trustees of each of CEN and the Focus Fund has determined that the foregoing matters will be presented to the Funds’ shareholders for approval at upcoming special shareholder meetings.
Brookfield Asset Management’s Public Securities Group
Brookfield Investment Management Inc. (the “Firm”) is an SEC-registered investment adviser and represents the Public Securities platform of Brookfield Asset Management Inc., providing global listed real assets strategies including real estate equities, infrastructure equities, multi-strategy real asset solutions and real asset debt. With more than $15 billion of assets under management as of June 30, 2017, the Firm manages separate accounts, registered funds and opportunistic strategies for institutional and individual clients, including financial institutions, public and private pension plans, insurance companies, endowments and foundations, sovereign wealth funds and high net worth investors. The Firm is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Brookfield Asset Management Inc., a leading global alternative asset manager with approximately $250 billion of assets under management as of June 30, 2017. For more information, go to www.brookfield.com.
About Center Coast MLP & Infrastructure Fund
CEN is a non-diversified closed-end management investment company. CEN’s investment objective is to provide a high level of total return with an emphasis on distributions to shareholders. The “total return” sought by CEN includes appreciation in the net asset value of the Fund’s common shares and all distributions made by CEN to its common shareholders, regardless of the tax characterization of such distributions, including distributions characterized as return of capital. CEN seeks to achieve its investment objective by investing primarily in a portfolio of MLPs and energy infrastructure companies. Under normal market conditions, CEN will invest at least 80% of its managed assets in securities of MLPs and energy infrastructure companies. CEN may invest up to 20% of its managed assets in unregistered or restricted securities, including securities issued by private companies. CEN utilizes leverage as part of its investment strategy. There is no assurance that CEN will achieve its investment objective. The Portfolio Managers for CEN are planning a third quarter update call on Wednesday, October 11, 2017, at 11:00 EDT. Details are available on the CCC website.
About Center Coast MLP Focus Fund
The Focus Fund is a non-diversified open-end management investment company. The Focus Fund’s investment objective is to seek maximum total return with an emphasis on providing cash distributions to shareholders. The “total return” sought by the Focus Fund includes appreciation in the net asset value of the Focus Fund’s common shares and all distributions made by the Focus Fund to its common shareholders, regardless of the tax characterization of such distributions, including distributions characterized as return of capital. The Focus Fund seeks to achieve its investment objective by investing primarily in a portfolio of MLPs. There is no assurance that the Focus Fund will achieve its investment objective.