What is John Dizard doing these days?

Bruce Flatt on the call, “We were not the flavor of the day two years ago. But today, people are coming back to these type of businesses.”

Facts that back that up? How is this for a mic drop? $21B in asset sales this year so far

"Great assets hold value and provide liquidity

We completed $21 billion of monetizations since we last wrote to you, realizing gains totaling $5 billion. We note this in the context of the market disarray, as you may not be aware that many private markets are still operating in a very normal way. Of course, some borrowing is harder to do, interest rates are higher, some yield spreads are wider, and the markets are not as robust as they were. But for high quality assets, markets are generally still open and available to transact at good valuations. Some recent examples include the following:

• U.K.: Residential Property Student Housing Business – over seven years we built, developed, and acquired student-housing properties in the United Kingdom that became the third-largest portfolio in the country. At 26,000 beds, Student Roost is an operating business we created from the ground up that became a highly attractive asset for many buyers. We recently sold the business for £3.3 billion of enterprise value. We had invested £700 million into the equity of this portfolio over time, and on closing later this year will generate cash from the investment of £1.8 billion to the equity—resulting in a gain of US$1.6 billion or 2.7x our investment, resulting in an internal rate of return of 25%.

• U.S.: Container Port Property in Los Angeles – in 2015, we acquired 50% of two container ports in California for $280 million and worked with our partner to modernize and upgrade the facilities. This resulted in our ports being the most mechanized on the west coast of the United States, and therefore having the highest margins and the fewest issues in a tough operating environment over the past few years. We recently sold our 50% of the assets for $1 billion—resulting in a gain of approximately $700 million, which represented a 3.2x multiple of capital and an internal rate of return of 19%.

• India: Toll Road Portfolio – in 2017, we began acquiring toll roads in India, and over time we built a portfolio of 513 kilometers of these roadways. We enhanced the operations, including health and safety standards and built an operating business from the ground up. We recently sold the operating company we built—and the toll-roads we assembled—for $1.1 billion. This resulted in a $200 million cash gain and generated a multiple of capital of 1.6x, resulting in an internal rate of return of 14%.

• U.K.: Office Properties in City of London – we sold a property in the City of London for £300 million that we had built ground-up for a cost of £150 million. We acquired our partner’s half pre-Covid at a gross valuation of £270 million. These transactions in totality generated an annualized internal rate of return of 18% and a 2.5x multiple of our equity capital. Down the street, while not a sale, we just completed the refinancing of 100 Bishopsgate, which is now fully completed, fully leased, and is established as one of the leading office buildings in central London. We built it for £850 million and closed last month on a non-recourse refinancing of £1.2 billion. We now have received cash distributions representing 100% of our equity plus a further £330 million, while continuing to own 100% of it. To date this has generated an internal rate of return of 19% and a multiple of equity capital of 2.9x.

• Brazil: Electricity Transmission Lines – in 2016, we bid on a concession to build electricity transmission lines in Brazil. We have completed five of our nine concessions, consisting of approximately 2,400 kilometers of lines. These lines bring desperately needed renewable energy from the north of the country to the industrial heartland of Brazil. We agreed last week to sell the five concessions for approximately US$1.5 billion, resulting in a 2x multiple of capital and a 22% internal rate of return.

• New Zealand: Telecom Tower Portfolio – in 2019, we acquired a 50% stake in a fully integrated telecom tower network for approximately 7x EBITDA. In mid-July, we signed an agreement to sell a 1,500 mobile telecom tower portfolio that was previously owned within our New Zealand telecom business. We were able to successfully exit the towers at 34x fiscal year 2023 pro forma EBITDA and return nearly all our invested capital for the entire acquisition, while retaining a valuable fiber network and one of the country’s leading retail mobile network operator brands. For us and our partners, the transaction is expected to generate proceeds of $1.0 billion in Q4 of this year, following customary regulatory approvals."

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He retired from FT several months ago. https://talkingbiznews.com/business-media-news/ft-columnist-…

He has a paid subscription here: https://johndizard.substack.com/

His Twitter feed: https://twitter.com/JohnDizard

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