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SoftBank to buy Fortress Investment Group for USD 3.3 bln to consolidate global hedge fund

Friday 17 February 2017 | 11:18 AM CET

SoftBank Group, a fintech, telecommunications and internet company, has agreed to buy Fortress Investment Group, a global investment management firm, for USD 3.3 billion, thus adding investment expertise as it prepares to launch the world\'s largest private equity fund.

The deal is SoftBank's first major investment in an asset manager and itcomes after founder Masayashi Son made the announcement in October, 2016 that SoftBank is teaming up with Saudi Arabia to set up a USD 100 billion technology fund, Reuters reports.

Buying private equity and alternative investment company Fortress could help SoftBank move to financing investments with private equity cash instead of debt, said Gerhard Fasol of Eurotechnology Japan, a consultancy, the source reports.

The companies said Fortress principals would continue to lead the investment manager, which will operate within SoftBank as an independent business, based in New York. Senior fund managers would also remain with the group. Fortress shareholders receive USD 8.08 per share, a premium of 38.6 to the closing price on 13 February 2017.

JP Morgan Securities and Morgan Stanley & Co acted as financial advisers for SoftBank and Fortress respectively. Evercore acted as financial adviser to the Special Committee of Fortress's Board of Directors. SoftBank shares rose 2%, compared with a 1% gain for the wider TOPIX .TOPX index.

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