Softbank adds Fortress Investment to growing tech empire

SoftBank today (15/02/2017) said that it will buy Fortress Investment Group for USA $3.3 billion.

SoftBank will be paying 8.08 dollar per share to Fortress, which is 39 percent more than the closing price of Fortress as observed on 13th.

Executives Pete Briger, Wes Edens, Randy Nardone and Fortress' senior investment professionals have all agreed to stay. Each signed a five-year employment contract and will invest 50% of their after-tax proceeds from the transaction into Fortress-managed investment products.

At its IPO in 2007, Fortress was valued at $7.4 billion and its valuation has been as high as $14 billion, but it has been struggling recently.

Son said: "Fortress' excellent track record speaks for itself, and we look forward to benefitting from its leadership, broad-based expertise and world class investment platform".

Some Softbank watchers were expressed surprise at the move as Son, one of the best-known and most-colorful Japanese businessmen, was known for bold acquisition moves in the technology and communications arena.

The offer for New York-based Fortress is 39 percent above its February 13 closing price and values the asset manager at $3.3 billion. But it may be feeling a need to bolster its asset management capability, with a plan to set up an investment fund jointly with the Saudi Arabian government.

"SoftBank is an extraordinary company that has thrived under the visionary leadership of Masayoshi Son", said Fortress Co-Chairmen Pete Briger and Wes Edens in a statement. We join a company with tremendous scale and resources, and a culture completely aligned with our focus on performance, service and innovation. Nizar Al-Bassam and Dalinc Ariburnu of F.A.B. However, the deal is subject to approvals by Fortress shareholders, certain regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions.

The group has a self-proclaimed aim of driving the information revolution, and previous year announced the establishment of a $100bn technology investment fund.

  • Todd Kelly