Fortress to be acquired for $3.3B by Japanese telecom giant

SoftBank hoping to bring investment talent in-house

Pete Briger, Wes Edens and Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village (Credit: Getty Images)
Pete Briger, Wes Edens and Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village (Credit: Getty Images)

Fortress Investment Group — the $70 billion investment manager that’s an active lender in New York real estate — is being acquired for $3.3 billion.

Japanese telecom giant SoftBank Group Corp. will buy the publicly-traded company for $8.08 per share — a 39 percent premium — the companies announced. SoftBank will operate Fortress alongside a soon-to-be formed $100 billion technology investment fund.

Fortress [TRDataCustom] principals Pete Briger, Wes Edens and Randy Nardone will continue to run the company within SoftBank, Bloomberg reported. Fortress was founded in 1998 and went public in 2007 in a $634.3 million IPO, debuting at $18.50 a share.

But the company’s performance slumped during the financial crisis and has traded as low as $.077 per share.

SoftBank’s acquisition is aimed at bringing investment talent in-house, a company spokeswoman said. The deal, which is subject to shareholder and regulators’ approval, is expected to close by the end of the year.

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SoftBank has made $44 billion worth of investments and acquisitions since 2015, as it’s moved from being a telecom operator into a diversified investment company.

In a statement, founder Masayoshi Son said the Fortress deal would “expand our group capabilities” alongside a soon-to-be-established $100 billion Vision Fund platform.

The firm aims to close the first round of investment in the fund this month. SoftBank is contributing $25 billion to the fund, along with $45 billion from Saudi investors and $1 billion each from Apple Inc., Qualcomm Inc. and Oracle Corp. Chairman Larry Ellison.

Fortress is among the lenders on Extell Development’s Central Park Tower, specifically the $235 million refinancing of the firm’s land loan.

In 2015, Fortress sold its stake in the Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village complex — which it owned through subsidiary CWCapital — for $5.3 billion.  [Bloomberg]E.B. Solomont

(To read more about Central Park Tower, click here)