Australian retirement communities manager Aveo Group today confirmed that it has selected Brookfield Asset Management as its “preferred party” in takeover talks following media speculation.

Aveo operates 94 retirement and aged care communities, valued at A$2bn (€1.25bn), across the eastern states of Australia and has a A$1.13bn market capitalisation.

The group is currently undertaking a strategic review of its business and said Brookfield would be part of that review.

In a statement, Aveo said it continues to negotiate with the Brookfield in respect of “its indicative proposal, with a view to entering into definitive agreements leading to a scheme of arrangement”.

The statement added that there continued to be no certainty that negotiations would lead to a deal.

To gain total control of the retirement village group, Brookfield would need to win over its key shareholder, Malaysian-based Mulpha, which owns around 24% of the company’s shares.

Aside from Aveo, media reports say Brookfield is close to clinching a deal with Telstra, Australia’s largest telecommunications company, which is seeking a partner to co-invest in a A$1.5bn portfolio of telecom exchange buildings.

Telstra is selling a 49% interest in 37 properties, mostly located in metropolitan Sydney and Melbourne.

A source close to the sale process told IPE Real Assets that a key feature of the properties was their long lease duration.