SoftBank to buy Fortress for $4.7b cash


SoftBank to buy Fortress for $4.7b cash

Fortress Investment Group (FIG) announced after the bell Tuesday that it has agreed to be acquired by SoftBank Group Corp. for approximately $3.3 billion in cash.

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

Under the terms of the merger agreement, which was unanimously approved by a Special Committee of Independent Directors of Fortress's Board of Directors and Fortress's full Board of Directors, each Fortress Class A shareholder will receive $8.08 per share, which represents a premium of 38.6% to the closing price of Fortress Class A common stock on February 13, 2017, and a premium of 51.2% to Fortress's 3-month volume-weighted average price, excluding dividends.

Fortress closed up their shares at 6.5 percent with a value of 6.21 dollar per share that estimated their market value to almost 2.4 billion dollars. The company will continue to operate from its headquarters in NY and as an independent business within Softbank.

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SoftBank previously announced the massive $100 billion technology investment fund - SoftBank Vision Fund - past year with Saudi Arabia.

"Softbank is not doing a great job in communicating where this fits into their investment strategy", Iwai Cosmo Securities Co analyst Tomoaki Kawasaki said. This is SoftBank's first major investment/venture outside the Telecommunication and Technology sectors.

Executives Pete Briger, Wes Edens, Randy Nardone and Fortress' senior investment professionals have all agreed to stay. The vast SoftBank Vision Fund will work in partnership with Saudi Arabia's sovereign wealth fund, and is expected to invest at least $25bn over the coming five years. Briger was hired from Goldman Sachs Group 2002.

Fortress also manages $7.1 billion in private equity funds, $18.3 billion in alternative credit investments in partnership with Mount Kellett Management, and $33.4 billion in traditional fixed income through its Logan Circle division (these figures are as of Q3). The performance has come despite a more than doubling of assets managed by the firm, as dwindling performance by investment managers in the fallout of the global financial crisis has hit profitability. Nizar Al-Bassam and Dalinc Ariburnu of FAB Partners arranged the Fortress transaction and are to continue to advise Softbank with respect to the firm.



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