Bruce Flatt, Chief Executive Officer of Brookfield Asset Management Inc., says he may consider investing in the Trans Mountain pipeline which was recently purchased by the Canadian government.  Trans Mountain photo.

Trans Mountain pipeline bought by Canadian government last month for $4.5 billion

Bloomberg reports that the Chief Executive Officer of Brookfield Asset Management Inc, is considering investing in the Trans Mountain pipeline.

Bruce Flatt, CEO of Brookfield, Canada’s largest alternative asset manager, told Bloomberg “We look at all infrastructure”.  He added “if there’s something that makes sense for us, given everything that has gone on, we’ll consider it”.

In May, the Canadian government announced the $4.5 billion purchase of Kinder Morgan Canada, builder of the Trans Mountain pipeline.  The company had ceased all non-essential work on the pipeline in early April, citing “unquantifiable risk” due to opposition from the government of British Columbia.

At the time of the purchase, Canadian Finance Minister Bill Morneau said the government did not intend to be a long-term owner of the pipeline.  He added the government would work with investors to transfer the project and related assets to a new owner or owners.

“Make no mistake, this is an investment in Canada’s future,” Morneau said on May 29 when the government announced it had purchased the beleaguered pipeline.

According to Morneau, the pipeline that moves Alberta crude to tidewater on the southern coast of British Columbia is in the national interest.  He added the project will preserve jobs, reassure investors and get Canadian resources to global markets.

Bloomberg sources say Ottawa’s financial advisers, Greenhill & Co of New York, have wasted no time shopping around the pipeline project to potential buyers, including a number of pipeline companies, pension funds and asset managers.

The sources add a Canadian-led consortium purchasing the pipeline from the federal government is the most likely outcome.

Brookfield has $285 billion in assets under its management and has heavily invested in infrastructure around the world.