May 7, 2020 / 5:18 PM / a month ago

Canada's Brookfield plans to invest $5 billion in struggling retailers

May 7 (Reuters) - Canada's Brookfield Asset Management Inc said on Thursday it plans to invest $5 billion to revive retailers at a time when the industry is struggling due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The asset manager said it would aim to take non-controlling stakes in retail businesses that have $250 million or higher in normalized revenues and have been operating for at least two years. (bit.ly/2YPj61I)

Brookfield said it will fund its retail revitalization program along with its institutional partners and would be led by Ron Bloom, the vice chairman of Brookfield's Private Equity Group.

Bloom was a chief architect of the Obama administration's 2009 U.S. auto bailout and long-time adviser to unions in industry shake-ups.

"This initiative is being designed to assist medium sized enterprises in getting back on their feet. We believe this is a critical component to getting the economy moving again," Bloom said.

Retailers have borne the brunt of the spread of the infectious disease that has forced them to temporarily close stores and inflicted widespread financial pain.

Neiman Marcus Group filed reut.rs/2xMujFs for bankruptcy protection earlier on Thursday, after J. Crew Group Inc did on Monday. (Reporting by Praveen Paramasivam in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)

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