Brookfield Asset Management Inc. has bid more than $14 billion to acquire the stake it doesn’t already hold in mall owner GGP Inc., according to a person with knowledge of the matter.
The Canadian investment firm made an offer of about $23 per share, the person said, asking not to be identified because the information is private. The price represents a premium of around 21 percent to GGP’s closing price, the day before Bloomberg News reported Brookfield had held discussions about taking the company private.
Brookfield has been focussing on buying and re-purposing shopping centres to take advantage of the space they occupy in urban areas, Chief Executive Officer Bruce Flatt said on a conference call. The company, which invests across real estate, infrastructure, renewable energy and private equity, said assets under management increased to more than $265 billion, it said in November.
In the third quarter, Toronto-based Brookfield’s real estate unit exercised all of its outstanding warrants in GGP, bringing its ownership stake to 34 percent from 29 percent, the company said in a statement earlier this month. The 68 million shares were purchased for $462 million.
Brookfield took a stake in GGP as part of an agreement to take the company out of bankruptcy in 2010. It acquired additional GGP warrants in January 2013 and agreed to not increase its stake beyond 45 percent for the next four years.
A representative for Brookfield declined to comment. A spokesman for Chicago-based GGP didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment outside regular business hours. The Wall Street Journal reported the level of the bid earlier, citing unidentified people.
Shares of mall companies have been hit hard as the rise of e-commerce squeezes brick-and-mortar retailers.
Store closures are accelerating, pressuring landlords to fill empty space and reinvent shopping centres.