SoftBank could choose to sell Fortress Investment Group outright or offer the firm to some of its institutional investors, said the people. A sale could occur soon. The New York Fortress had $49 billion in assets under management on June 30. Over the past year, Son’s SoftBank has placed some of its portfolio companies, including video site Snap Inc. and ride-sharing company Uber Technologies Inc.
A sale of Fortress would come on the heels of a partial sale of Fortress Investment Group units to Fidelity Investments in March. SoftBank has also been seeking to repurchase $8.8 billion in preferred shares held by Fortress and a couple of its parent funds, people familiar with the matter said last month.
The terms of that deal have proven to be a sticking point. According to the person, SoftBank is considering alternatives to the sale and repurchase of the securities. Officials at SoftBank, Fortress, and Fidelity Investments, which owned a majority of Fortress at the sale, declined to comment.
In September, SoftBank disclosed it was considering a unit sale in a regulatory filing, and it hired Goldman Sachs Group Inc. to explore the move. The company acquired Fortress Investment Group to diversify its investment portfolio as it grew its holdings in U.S. technology companies.
At a presentation last month, SoftBank Chief Executive Officer Masayoshi Son outlined plans to eventually reduce the amount of money that the Vision Fund injects into the company’s portfolio companies. Son’s presentation didn’t mention a potential sale of Fortress.
Fortress’s offerings could be attractive to some overseas investors because they involve less credit risk than the Japanese government bonds that are typically the mainstay of such funds, according to the people familiar with the matter.
SoftBank bought a majority stake in Fortress Investment Group in 2013 for about $1.4 billion. The Japanese conglomerate’s stake in the firm has been shrinking. Its most recent public filing showed that the New York Fortress had about $45 billion of assets under management as of March, down from more than $60 billion in November.
That decrease could be because some of Fortress’s investors, including hedge funds and private-equity firms, have moved their money to other private-equity funds, the people said.