Brookfield Asset Management Looking For Buyer of Bahamas Atlantis

Posted on: July 20, 2019, 04:00h. 

Last updated on: July 20, 2019, 08:53h.

Brookfield Asset Management Inc. (NYSE:BAM), an asset management and real estate development firm, is looking to sell the Atlantis Paradise Island Resort in the Bahamas, one of the region’s most popular tourist destinations.

The gaming floor at Atlantis Bahamas, which owner Brookfield could be looking to sell. (Image: XTNS)

Canadian-based Brookfield acquired the property, which features a casino, in 2012. The company has $365 billion in assets under management, of which $191 billion are allocated to real estate investments.

Brookfield is teaming with an adviser to drum up interest for Atlantis, reports Bloomberg, citing unidentified sources close to the matter. The property has more than 3,800 rooms spread across 10 hotels.

Earlier this year, Brookfield was close to selling Atlantis to Ashkenazy Acquisition Corporation, but that New York investment firm dropped out late in the process upon finding previously undiscovered deferred maintenance costs that would have driven the deal price higher.

A sale price for Atlantis has not been revealed, but Brookfield completed a $1.9 billion recapitalization of the venue early this year. When the company acquired Atlantis, it had $2.3 billion in debt.

Bahamas Gaming

Atlantis has over 700 slot machines and dozens of table games. The casino also offers horse racing and sports wagering. Competitors include the Baha Mar Casino at Grand Hyatt, the largest casino in the Bahamas, Crystal Palace, and Resorts World Bimini Casino. Overall, there are five gaming properties on the Caribbean island.

Casinos there had about $220 million in gross gaming revenue (GGR) last year, up from $150 million four years earlier, according to the Ministry of Tourism.

There is also an online gaming industry in the Bahamas, one the government there has sought to increase taxes on in a big way. Last year, the Bahamas government attempted to raise taxes on online gaming operators to 20 percent to 50 percent of GGR from the established rate of 11 percent.

Some Casino Experience

Brookfield’s real estate arm, Brookfield Properties, is a sprawling enterprise with 282 properties and a combined 138 million square feet of commercial space around the world. In addition to Atlantis, the real estate developer has had gaming experience as it previously owned the Hard Rock in Las Vegas.

Last year, the company partnered with Great Canadian Gaming Corp. to acquire gaming assets in Ontario, that country’s most-populated province. Brookfield was also closing to acquiring the Revel, now the Ocean Casino Resort, in Atlantic City in late 2014, but scrapped that deal while Revel was still in bankruptcy.

The Bloomberg article did not say what investment bank is working with Brookfield on the sale of Atlantis, but the firm used JPMorgan to orchestrate the sale of Hard Rock Las Vegas in 2017.

Last year, Brookfield Strategic Real Estate Partners III LP, a private fund operated by the company, raised $15 billion in new financing, a record for the company.