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Sectors

Utilities

Spanning six countries and four continents, our utilities portfolio benefits from several factors: the steady, inflation-linked cash flows inherent to the utilities sector; the diverse regulatory environments in which we operate; and the numerous opportunities available to invest in system expansions throughout our markets. For more than 100 years, we have owned and operated various utilities businesses in North and South America. Today, through our active management of over 11,200 km of backbone electricity transmission, 2.8 million direct customer electricity and natural gas connections, 600,000 smart meters, 2,000 km of regulated natural gas pipelines and 85 million tons per annum of coal handling capacity, we play an important role in ensuring the delivery of essential services. Our operations are located in the U.S., U.K., Chile, Colombia, Brazil and Australia.

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    Regulated Distribution, U.K.

    In 2009, as part of the restructuring of Babcock & Brown Infrastructure, we acquired a regulated U.K. distribution business connecting homes to the main utility grid. In 2012, we acquired another company in the U.K. and merged the two operations. We have since achieved considerable growth through operational improvements and the addition of product lines. This is a formidable utility franchise in a highly sought-after jurisdiction. 

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    Australian Regulated Terminal

    In 2009, as part of the restructuring of Babcock & Brown Infrastructure, we acquired one of the world’s largest coal-exporting terminals, which serves a major coal-producing region in Australia and generates regulated cash flows from 100% take-or-pay contracts, featuring no volume risk or force majeure provisions. Since the acquisition, we have implemented expansionary capex programs, increased the rate base, and consistently refinanced the business on an investment grade basis.

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    Electricity Transmission, Chile

    In 2006, we acquired Transelec Transmission, the largest electricity transmission company in Chile. With 10,000 km of transmission lines, it serves 98% of Chile’s population and offers stable, inflation-linked revenues. Since 2006, we have nearly doubled the rate base through organic growth and inflation indexation. Future growth will be achieved through system upgrades and increased connectivity to electricity generation in the country. 

Transport

Our transport business comprises essential infrastructure networks that move freight, bulk commodities and passengers. We operate a geographically diverse portfolio that includes 36 ports in North America, the UK, Australia and Europe, approximately 3,600 km of toll roads in South America and India, and large rail operations in Australia and South America. Our assets benefit from high barriers to entry, long-term contracts that produce consistent cash flows, and broad exposure to rising levels of customer demand, particularly in high-growth markets.

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    Brazilian Integrated Logistics

    In 2014, we acquired a 27% stake in VLI, one of Brazil’s largest logistics operators, with 5,000 km of railroads, six port terminals and eight transshipment terminals. VLI is a strong franchise that allows us to participate in the growth of Brazil’s rail space. Since the acquisition, we have undertaken BRL 6 billion in expansion projects which, combined with rising demand and inflation, should increase cash flows significantly.

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    South American Toll Roads
    Since 2011, we have assembled a 3,400 km portfolio of 14 toll roads in South America, focusing on key arteries in stable, high-growth regions with favorable tolling regimes. We have generated value from our efforts to upgrade and expand these road networks and achieved attractive real returns. We expect additional cash flow to be driven by rising GDP, regulated tariffs indexed to inflation and increasing motorization rates.
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    Australian Railroad

    In 2009, as part of the restructuring of Babcock & Brown Infrastructure, we acquired 5,100 km of below-rail infrastructure in Western Australia under a lease with the State Government extending through 2049. The asset links eight ports supporting miners, farmers, interstate and intrastate freight. In 2010, we began a A$700 million, two-year project to enhance the network’s capacity and subsequently delivered a 35% increase in freight volumes.

Energy

Our energy businesses provide energy transmission, distribution and storage services that generate stable revenues through long-term contracts with large-scale customers. Located across three countries, our assets include one of the largest natural gas transmission and pipeline systems in the U.S.; unregulated natural gas and liquid propane gas distribution operations in Australia; natural gas storage centers in Alberta and the continental U.S.; and district heating and cooling systems in Australia, Canada and the U.S.

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District Energy, Canada

In 2012, we acquired a district energy business in Toronto, Canada. District energy systems provide large scale heating and cooling services to commercial buildings and campuses and benefit from predictable, inflation-linked cash flows. Since 2012, we have purchased additional district energy systems in North America and Australia, and we see opportunities to expand further by leveraging Brookfield’s commercial property presence in urban centers.   

Communications Infrastructure

Our communications infrastructure business provides essential services and critical infrastructure to the media broadcasting and telecom sectors. We own and operate a portfolio in France that consists of 7,000 multi-purpose towers and active rooftop sites, as well as 5,000 km of fiber backbone. These assets generate stable, inflation-linked cash flows through long-term contracts with established corporate customers.

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French Telecommunications Infrastructure

In 2015, we acquired an interest in TDF, the largest independent communication infrastructure business in France, which serves the media broadcasting and telecom sectors. With 7,000 towers and rooftop sites and 5,000 km of fiber backbone, TDF is a utility-like infrastructure asset with high barriers to entry. Its growth will be driven by continued site deployments by mobile network operators responding to rising levels of mobile data consumption.

Sustainable Resources

Our sustainable resources business consists of timberland and agriculture operations in North and South America that provide the raw materials for essential goods and services and thereby generating strong, sustainable cash flows. We own and manage 3.7 million acres of timberlands and 650,000 acres of agriculture operations that support grain crops, sugarcane and cattle grazing. We are committed to managing these assets in an environmentally responsible manner – within our timber portfolio, for example, our operating practices in our North American forest operations meet or exceed the requirements set by the Sustainable Forestry Initiative® program.

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East Coast Timberlands
In 2006, we established Acadian Timber, a publicly traded timber income fund (TSX:ADN) supplying forest products in eastern Canada and the northeastern U.S. Our strategy was to monetize timber assets we had acquired in New Brunswick and Maine through previous specialty paper and paper mill transactions. Acadian has 2.4 million acres of land under management and has delivered a 13% compounded annual total return since its inception.