Brookfield finds cheap bet on flexible working fad
LONDON, June 28 (Reuters Breakingviews) - Bruce Flatt is placing his money where his mouth is. The chief executive of Brookfield Asset Management (BAMa.TO), who last year famously predicted that working from home wouldn’t last, has bought UK-based flexible office builder Modulaire Group from private equity firm TDR Capital for an enterprise value of $5 billion. Modulaire, which provides swiftly-erected, temporary buildings for companies, schools and construction sites, is expected to benefit from a recovery in Europe and Asia.
Despite the popularity of flexible working space, Flatt doesn’t appear to be overpaying either. His listed industrial services unit Brookfield Business Partners (BBU_u.TO) is paying roughly 12 times Modulaire’s 2020 EBITDA, a discount to Finland-based rival Adapteo (ADAPT.ST), which is valued at 15 times trailing EBITDA, according to Refinitiv data. That should redouble Flatt’s faith that people will return to the nine-to-five grind. (By Christopher Thompson)
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