TORA! TORA! TORA!
The private equity firm that manages the parent company of the State Journal-Register is being sold to SoftBank, a telecommunications and internet company founded and headed by a Japanese billionaire whom Forbes last year reported was among the world’s 100 richest people. The sale of Fortress Investment Group for $3.3 billion in cash – $1 billion more than the company’s stock market value, according to the New York Times – was announced last week and on the heels of a December meeting between Donald Trump and Masayoshi Son, SoftBank’s founder and CEO who reportedly lost $70 billion in a single day during the dot.com crash nearly two decades ago, believed to be a record amount lost by anyone since folks started counting money. Son has bounced back and is now worth an estimated $21.5 billion, according to Forbes. Son in December reportedly told the president-to-be that SoftBank, which already owns Sprint, would invest $50 billion in the United States and create 50,000 new jobs. In addition to managing New Media Investment Group, the company that owns GateHouse that in turn owns the SJ-R, Fortress has interests that range from real estate to a railroad company to a firm that makes subprime loans. Fortress’s fortunes have fallen since the company went public in 2007, with its stock slipping by 80 percent during the past decade, but it has recovered a bit in recent years and especially on the day before the SoftBank deal was announced last week, when Fortress stock went up by 6.5 percent in heavy trading.