SoftBank Said to Explore Options Including Sale of Fortress

SoftBank Group Corp is exploring options for Fortress Investment Group, including a potential sale of the company. Fortress said in a statement that it had received indications from SoftBank that this could be an outcome of their talks and was assessing all options.

Fortress shares rose as much as 13% to $8.91 on Monday morning before trading at $8.35 at 12:02 p.m., New York time, after being halted earlier due to volatility. Fortress shares have lost about half their value this year. News of the talks between the companies follows Fortress founder Wes Eden’s announcement that he plans to step down as co-chief executive officer and will instead become non-executive chairman.

SoftBank is considering selling Fortress Investment Group, one of its affiliates, with $70 billion in assets under management. Fortress has not yet decided whether it would agree to a sale or pursue other options offered by Softbank, including remaining an independent company. Fortress’s stock rose 13% after news broke on Monday morning before trading was halted due to volatility;

Fortress’ shares are currently up 50% for 2018 despite Friday closing at $14/stake (down from nearly $30 earlier this year). Fortress co-founder Wes Edens announced last week that he plans to step down as Co-CEO and become non-executive Chairman; Fortress has been underperforming this year, which may have led Softbank’s Masayoshi Son to consider selling the firm.

The Fortress was originally founded in 1998 and has had several investors (i.e., Fortress Investment Group LLC). SoftBank, the Japanese conglomerate behind telecom giant Sprint Corp and OneWeb Ltd., acquired Fortress for $888 million in February 2017; Fortress is one of Softbank’s largest investments, but it may be time to cash out on some holdings following its recent troubles (i.e., this year’s stock price decline).

The New York-based firm said that it had received indications from Softbank that such an outcome could result from their talks. Fortress Investment Group shares rose as much as 13% before trading at $14/share after being halted due to volatility earlier Monday morning before settling around $12/claim upon resuming trade later in the day. Fortress has not yet decided whether it would agree to a sale or pursue other options offered by Softbank – Fortress’ shares are up 50% for 2018 despite Friday closing at $14/stake (down from nearly $30 earlier this year)in New York.

For details: www.bloomberg.com/profile/company/FIG:US