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Could SoftBank Challenge the Dominance of Blackstone?

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Japan’s SoftBank Group Corporation has agreed to buy New York-based Fortress Investment Group LLC for approximately US$ 3.3 billion in cash in a bid to further cement the firm’s ascension into the lucrative world of money management. Fees are the revenue drivers for investment managers. The deal worked out that SoftBank would pay US$ 8.08 per share of Fortress Investment Group, a 38.6% market premium to the firm’s February 13, 2017 closing stock price. The money is not coming out of the SoftBank Vision Fund to fund the deal. Getting into the world of alternative investments, SoftBank can challenge the dominance of firms such as The Blackstone Group and Carlyle Group, as the conglomerate is now in control of hedge fund, credit, private capital and fixed income businesses. Fortress Investment Group had US$ 70.1 billion in assets under management as of September 30, 2016. SoftBank will also get control of Logan Circle Partners, a fixed income shop within Fortress Investment Group, which accounts for US$ 33.4 billion in assets under management.

Deal Flow

The Founder, Chairman and CEO of SoftBank is Masayoshi Son and he is known for being a direct investor, putting capital to work in e-commerce ventures, internet startups, designers and telecommunication businesses. Recent examples include investments in U.K. chip designer ARM Holdings Plc and satellite company OneWeb Ltd. Son, one of Japan’s richest men, has also realized that asset management and building up sources of committed capital can enhance opportunities. Son sees more wealth funds, pensions and endowments moving money into private equity and other illiquid asset classes, while many private equity firms struggle with deal flow. For example, Boston-based Massachusetts Pension Reserves Investment Management Board (MassPRIM), in a recent board meeting approved to increase its allocation to private equity from 10% to 11%, citing top performance in this asset class.

Almost always, private equity firms without sufficient access are challenged when trying to deploy limited partner capital. [ Content protected for Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute Standard subscribers only. Please subscribe to view content. ]

Scatec Solar Places Big Solar Bet in Bangladesh

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Oslo-based Scatec Solar ASA, a publicly-traded independent power producer operating in the emerging market solar development space, plans to construct and own a 800 mega watt photovoltaic solar power plant in Chandpur, Bangladesh. Scatec Solar has solar assets scattered across numerous emerging markets such as South Africa, Rwanda, Honduras, Egypt, Jordan and the Czech Republic.

[ Content protected for Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute Standard subscribers only. Please subscribe to view content. ]

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APFC Sells $1.4 Billion Stake in Simpson Housing

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The Alaska Permanent Fund Corporation (APFC) embarked on a major shift in its real estate portfolio by selling a 50% ownership stake in Denver-based Simpson Housing LLLP for US$ 1.4 billion. Simpson Housing had made up roughly 24.7% of APFC’s US$ 5.6 billion real estate portfolio. The other owner of Simpson Housing is that State of Michigan Retirement Systems.[ Content protected for Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute Standard subscribers only. Please subscribe to view content. ]

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ISIF Invests in Cybersecurity Firm Vectra

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The Ireland Strategic Investment Fund (ISIF) committed €10 million to Vectra Networks, Inc., a San Jose, U.S.-based cybersecurity company. The investment capital will assist Vectra in creating a research and development center in Dublin.

ISIF is part of a larger funding round of €30 million. These other investors include Khosla Ventures, Accel Partners, DAG Ventures, AI Ventures, AME Cloud Ventures and Wipro Ventures.

Kevin Dillon, who is the former Head of Microsoft Ireland and a Managing Partner at Atlantic Bridge, will join the board of directors at Vectra.

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