The international holdings conglomerate, Softbank, has been highly lauded for its acquisitions since its founding by Masayoshi Son in 1981, often stretching its assets into various sectors and arenas. In 1996, upon gaining a controlling stake in Yahoo, Softbank ascended to a new level, and, in a move similar to their previous investments, they recently purchased Fortress Investment Group for $3.3 billion, furthering their allure. Despite acquiring the company, Softbank will have very little authority in regards to the future of Fortress Investment Group, as this caveat was included in order to ensure that the deal would be approved by the Committee on Foreign Investments. There were a still a number of hurdles to be endured by both, Softbank and Fortress Investment Group, despite the holdings conglomerate’s substantial concessions. As a result of the acquisition, Softbank was required to pay a 39 percent premium to the shareholders of Fortress Investment Group, equaling an $8.08 increase for each share, while the private equity firm was delisted from the New York Stock Exchange. At the time, Softbank was also finalizing the acquisition of Boston Dynamics from Google’s parent company, Alphabet, as well as transferring a 25 percent stake from Arms Holdings to their $93 billion Vision Fund.
The founder of Softbank, Masayoshi Son, also worked tirelessly behind the scenes in order to secure the Fortress Investment Group acquisition. After announcing his intention to invest $50 billion in the United States, Masayoshi Son secured the public backing of President Donald Trump, who stated his support of the conglomerate in front of Congress in 2017. Despite having limited authority regarding their recently acquired private equity firm, Softbank was moved to act on the purchase as a result of Fortress’ track record, being that 2007 marked their initiation into the New York Stock Exchange – the first of its kind. While Fortress’ delisting will certainly have some repercussions for the private equity fund, Wes Edens, the company’s co-chair, believes that there are a number of positives to be had from this new experience, including increased freedom.
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