Date
26 May 2017
SoftBank chairman Masayoshi Son will Fortress Investment Group will operate independently. Photo: Bloomberg
SoftBank chairman Masayoshi Son will Fortress Investment Group will operate independently. Photo: Bloomberg

SoftBank to buy asset manager Fortress for US$3.3 bln

SoftBank Group Corp. is buying asset manager Fortress Investment Group LLC for US$3.3 billion to operate alongside the Japanese company’s soon-to-be-established technology investment fund.

Japan’s SoftBank will pay US$8.08 a share for New York-based Fortress, a 39 percent premium to the company’s Feb. 13 closing price, Bloomberg reports, citing a company statement.

Fortress co-founders Pete Briger, Wes Edens and Randy Nardone have agreed to continue leading the business, which will remain based in New York and operate independently within SoftBank, according to the statement.

SoftBank’s founder Masayoshi Son is in the process of creating a US$100 billion Vision Fund with Saudi Arabia that would make the Japanese billionaire one of the world’s biggest technology investors.

The Fortress deal will be separate from that vehicle and is aimed at bringing investment talent in-house, according to a SoftBank spokeswoman.

The acquisition, which is subject to approval by Fortress shareholders as well as regulators, is expected to close in the second half.

“Fortress’s excellent track record speaks for itself, and we look forward to benefiting from its leadership, broad-based expertise and world-class investment platform,” Son, SoftBank’s chairman and chief executive, said in the statement.

Shares of Fortress closed up 6.5 percent at US$6.21 on Tuesday, giving the New York-based company a market value of about US$2.4 billion. SoftBank rose 1 percent in Tokyo on Wednesday.

Fortress was founded as a private-equity firm in 1998 by Edens, Nardone and Robert Kauffman, who came from Swiss bank UBS AG and New York-based BlackRock Financial Management Inc.

Fortress’s stock has slumped by nearly two-thirds since its initial public offering in early 2007.

The company managed US$70.1 billion in credit assets, private equity holdings, hedge funds and fixed-income investments as of Sept. 30.

– Contact us at [email protected]

CG

EJI Weekly Newsletter

Please click here to unsubscribe