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Canadian asset manager Brookfield in talks to buy Shanghai property from Hong Kong-listed Greenland
* The US$2 billion deal could become the second largest commercial property transaction in China by a foreign investor

Zheng Yangpeng   
Published: 11:00pm, 3 Apr, 2019

Canadian companies continue to pursue deals in China notwithstanding the diplomatic spat between the two countries that has seen tit-for-tat arrests of each other’s citizens.

Two Canadians were imprisoned in China after Huawei’s chief financial officer Sabrina Meng was arrested by Canada on December 1 following an extradition request from the US.

Brookfield Asset Management, a Toronto-based alternative asset manager, is in talks to buy a commercial property site in Shanghai for around US$2 billion, Bloomberg reported on Wednesday, citing sources.

If the transaction goes ahead, it would be the second biggest commercial property deal in China by a foreign firm after Singapore’s CapitaLand and the city state’s sovereign wealth fund GIC jointly splashed nearly 20 billion yuan (US$2.98 billion) in November 2018 for Shanghai’s tallest twin towers.

The Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, one of the world’s largest pension fund managers, is also eyeing investments in the country.

CPPIB said last month that it was considering opening its first mainland office in Beijing as soon as next year.

The pension fund has already invested US$4 billion in a Chinese logistics venture with Australia’s Goodman Group catering to the rising storage demand from e-commerce businesses. It has also invested in Alibaba Group Holding, Meituan Dianping and some leading Chinese private equity funds. Alibaba owns the South China Morning Post.

Brookfield is the latest among a growing bunch of offshore investors chasing commercial property in China’s top cities. It has been biding its time as a rare window of opportunity has opened up since its once cash-flush local competitors have been reined in by Beijing’s deleveraging campaign. Commercial property investments in China rose 9.5 per cent last year to a record 296 billion yuan, with nearly one-third of that coming from overseas investors, according to Cushman & Wakefield. Shanghai, the primary target of foreign capital, saw 61 per cent of its deals from offshore investors.

Brookfield’s latest acquisition target in Shanghai is Greenland Huangpu Centre, a 320,000 square-metre development along the Huangpu River comprising three office towers, a mall and luxury flats from a unit of Greenland Hong Kong Holdings, according to Bloomberg and Chinese financial media 21st Century Business Herald.

Greenland bought it in 2013 for about 6 billion yuan.

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Brookfield, GIC to buy Genesee & Wyoming for about $6.4 billion

Reporting by Ankit Ajmera in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D'Silva
JULY 1, 2019 / 6:05 PM

(Reuters) - Canada’s Brookfield Asset Management Inc (BAMa.TO) and Singaporean sovereign wealth fund GIC on Monday agreed to buy U.S. freight railroad owner Genesee & Wyoming Inc (GWR.N) for about $6.4 billion in cash.

Brookfield and GIC’s offer of $112 per share represents a premium of 12 percent to Genesee’s closing price on Friday. Genesee shares were up about 8 percent in trading before the bell.

Including debt, the deal is valued at about 8.4 billion, the companies said in a statement.

Genesee & Wyoming’s revenue have increased at a compound annual growth rate of 16.8% since it floated in the stock market in 1996, rising to $2.3 billion in 2018 from $77.8 million, according to Genesee & Wyoming’s latest annual report.

The company owns a portfolio of 120 short-line railroads, predominantly in North America, with operations in Europe and Australia.

Reuters had reported on the deal on Sunday, citing sources.

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