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Ross Perot Jr.Michael Mulvey

Brookfield Asset Management and a Dallas-based real estate firm owned by Ross Perot Jr., have launched a joint venture focused on industrial properties in the U.S.

Brookfield said Wednesday it will contribute $160-million (U.S.) of a total initial equity investment of $400-million that will be used to acquire, develop and manage industrial properties.

Mr. Perot's Hillwood will contribute the rest and be responsible for finding investments.

The partnership plans to spend up to $1-billion in the first three years, with part of the funding coming from financing.

Brookfield said the joint venture with the son of former U.S. presidential candidate Ross Perot represents one of the most significant commitments to U.S. industrial real estate since the economic downturn.

"As long-term, value-oriented real estate investors, we believe this is an excellent time to selectively build a portfolio of high-quality industrial properties, and we look forward to expanding our relationship with Hillwood," said David Arthur, managing partner at Brookfield Asset Management.

"This initiative expands the scope of our real estate platform in an exciting asset class, strengthening our global property operations in line with the expected launch later this year of our flagship property vehicle, Brookfield Property Partners."

Meanwhile, Mr. Perot, chairman of Hillwood, said the partnership is not only the right fit, but is happening at the right time.

"Industrial development slowed during the downturn due to a lack of equity and debt," he said.

"Given the liquidity and resources supporting our investment, our joint venture is well-positioned to benefit from renewed demand for industrial space which will increase as the economy continues to show signs of improvement."

Brookfield Asset Management Inc., formerly known as Brascan, is a global investment firm with approximately $150-billion in assets under management with a focus on real estate, infrastructure, power and private equity.