Brookfield finds cheap bet on flexible working fad

Bruce Flatt, CEO of Brookfield Asset Management, poses in front of the company's logo in Tokyo
Bruce Flatt, Chief Executive Officer of Brookfield Asset Management (BAM), poses in front of the company's logo in Tokyo, Japan, May 16, 2019. REUTERS/Hideyuki Sano

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)

On Twitter

Capital Calls - More concise insights on global finance:

SoftBank robot rejig offers glimpse into future read more

Futile UK crypto curb flags regulatory blind spot read more

Glencore doubles down on coal role read more

Australia overconfidently approaches awkward age read more

Microsoft’s D.C. shield is showing cracks read more

Editing by Neil Unmack and Oliver Taslic

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Opinions expressed are those of the author. They do not reflect the views of Reuters News, which, under the Trust Principles, is committed to integrity, independence, and freedom from bias.