Softbank, a Japanese company founded in 1981, recently acquired Wes Edens Fortress Investment Group for $3.3 billion. Although Softbank now owns the company, nothing about the day to day business or overall management will change. In fact, before the transaction took place, Softbank was required to sign a hands-off agreement. In addition, Softbank was required to pay a certain amount for each share, which meant that FIG’s shareholders would also profit by the acquisition. This acquisition will prove to be an enormous advancement for both companies.
Softbank has grown much since it was originally founded by Masayoshi Son. For its first few years it was a PC software wholesale company. It really morphed throughout the 1990s with it entering computer trade, computer magazine publishing, and acquiring a controlling interest in Yahoo! And that was really only the beginning. It currently has stakes in over 400 internet companies worldwide. One of its biggest innovations has been its development of the Vision Fund. Currently valued at about $93 billion, the VF is the largest investment fund ever.
Its newest acquisition, Wes Edens Fortress, was first co-founded by its Randy Nardone (current CEO) and Wes Edens (current co-chair) in 1998. It has also done extremely well, becoming the first publicly traded U.S. private equity firm in 2007. Today, Wes Edens Fortress manages the assets of 1,750 private investors and institutional clients. In all, controls around $40 billion in worldwide assets. SoftBank’s also recently acquired Boston Dynamics.
Softbank remains led by its founder who today serves as its CEO. After Donald Trump was inaugurated president of the U.S., Son personally pledged to invest $50 billion in the country via Softbank. Son is now looking to lead Softbank to create a new London-based company known as Softbank Financial Services. Experts predict that Softbank’s success will most likely keep going up and up for the foreseeable future.