Fortress-SoftBank deal wins OK from target’s shareholders

The acquisition’s approval comes after Fortress announced an agreement to sell the largest piece of its asset management business to MetLife.

Fortress Investment Group shareholders have provided a near-unanimous backing of the asset manager’s proposed $3.3 billion acquisition by SoftBank Group, the firm announced on Wednesday.

Of the 63.1 percent of Fortress Class A and Class B shareholders that voted, 99.7 percent supported the all-cash deal, which is expected to close later this year. The Tokyo-based purchaser and New York-based seller announced the deal in February. Pete Briger, Wes Edens and Randy Nardone, all principals at Fortress, will continue to lead firm post-closing.

A spokesman for the firm could not be reached for comment.

Fortress Class A shareholders are set to receive $8.08 per share. That figure represents a 38.6 percent premium to Fortress Class A common stock’s 13 February closing price, and a premium of 51.2 percent to Fortress’s 3-month volume-weighted average price, excluding dividends.

The deal’s ratification by stockholders comes almost a week after Fortress agreed to sell its fixed-income business, Logan Circle Partners, to insurance company MetLife for $250 million cash. Logan Circle is the single largest part of Fortress’s business in terms of assets under management, in which the former managed $33.7 billion of its parent company’s $70.2 billion assets.

Fortress in May closed its US-focused Senior Secured Lending Fund at $590 million, surpassing its $500 million target. In general, the Fortress credit funds have management fee rates between 1-1.5 percent and generate incentive income of between 10-20 percent of a fund's profits, according to the firm’s 2016 annual report.

Thomas Duffell and Justin Slaughter contributed to this report.