Brookfield: Center Parcs’ next big owner

Tim Wallace
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Center Parcs specialises in activity holidays and short breaks
Family favourite Center Parcs looks set to change owners, with Brookfield interested in snapping it up

Adventure holidays are very big business. Family-friendly Center Parcs runs five sites around the UK, and made profits of £147m last year.

And its sustained success attracts the very biggest investors. Private equity group Blackstone is selling the group, which has attracted interest from acquisitive asset managers and sovereign wealth funds from across the globe.

The winner looks set to be Canadian group Brookfield, paying an enormous £2.4bn for the holiday group.

The investor is hardly a household name – asset managers are by their nature not exactly consumer facing.

But perhaps Brookfield should be.

It has around $200bn (£131bn) in assets under management, putting it in the top 100 asset managers globally.

And it is the world’s biggest property fund, with the majority of its investments in real estate across the world.

That extends to some of the most iconic sites in the UK – after years spent admiring Canary Wharf from afar, Brookfield managed to invest in the east London gem (above) at the start of this year.

And the group is also an investor in Centre Point, looming above Tottenham Court Road and Oxford Street.

Glittering developments in New York and Dubai add to its reputation for major property investment in the most glamorous locations.

Londoners have felt the impact of the hot property market in recent years, fuelled by cheap money and an economic recovery, and Brookfield is no exception. Investors have enjoyed its focus on property, though it also invests in related industries such as infrastructure and renewable energy.

In the last 12 months, its share price has risen 41 per cent from C$31.27 to C$43.98. And over the past five years the shares have more than doubled, giving it a market capitalisation of C$43bn (£22.6bn).

That has made it easy for Brookfield to raise more funds to invest – watch this space for more eye-catching purchases.

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