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Brookfield Buys Australia's La Trobe Financial From Blackstone – Yahoo Finance

(Bloomberg) — Brookfield Asset Management Inc. will acquire one of Australia’s largest non-bank lenders, La Trobe Financial, from Blackstone Inc. for a valuation of about A$1.5 billion ($1.1 billion).

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The valuation includes a contingent payment tied to the business achieving certain performance milestones, according to a statement from Brookfield on March 19.

Brookfield’s purchase of the Melbourne-based asset manager of more than A$13 billion marks an expansion for the Canadian firm into Australia. Until recently its private equity investments focused mainly on deals in Asia and Europe.

“We are pleased to expand our presence in Australia with the acquisition of La Trobe Financial,” Brookfield Private Equity Managing Partner Len Chersky said in the statement. “We intend to invest in La Trobe Financial to support its growth and look forward to building on the business’s foundation of continuous growth and profitability.”

Founded in 1952, La Trobe manages fixed-income credit funds on behalf of more than 50,000 qualified retail investors, primarily in residential property-backed loans, according to the statement.

Blackstone announced it would acquire 80% of La Trobe in 2017, seeing opportunity at the time in the shrinking loan appetite of Australia’s largest retail banks. The deal was completed two years later, and La Trobe’s assets under management have more than tripled since Blackstone’s investment.

La Trobe was weighing a potential sale or initial public offering last year that could have valued it at more than A$2 billion, the Australian Financial Review reported.

The closing of the transaction is expected in the second quarter, Brookfield said.

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