Fortress Investment Group

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Fortress Investment Group, LLC
Company typePrivate
IndustryInvestment Management Firm: Private Equity, Credit, Liquid Markets and Traditional Asset Management
Founded1998; 26 years ago (1998)
Headquarters1345 Avenue of the Americas
New York City, U.S.
Key people
  • Wesley R. Edens (Principal and Co-CEO)
  • Peter L. Briger (Principal and Co-CEO)
  • Randal A. Nardone (Principal)
ProductsInvestment Management Firm: Private Equity, Credit Funds, Railroads, Hedge Funds and Traditional Asset Management
AUMUS$45.7 billion (September 2022)[1]
Number of employees
885 plus 199 investment professionals (September 2022)[1]
ParentMubadala Investment Company

Fortress Investment Group is an American investment management firm based in New York City. Fortress was founded as a private equity firm in 1998 by Wes Edens, Rob Kauffman, and Randal Nardone. When Fortress launched on the NYSE in February 2007, it was the first large private equity firm in the US to be traded publicly. In December 2017, Fortress was fully acquired by SoftBank Group, was delisted, and returned to being a privately held company. Fortress manages $44.7 billion of assets under management as of June 30, 2023, on behalf of over 1,900 institutional clients and private investors worldwide across a range of credit and real estate, private equity and permanent capital investment strategies.[2] In May 2023, Mubadala Investment Co agreed to acquire a majority stake in Fortress from Softbank for an undisclosed sum.[3]



Fortress Investment Group LLC was founded as a private equity firm in 1998 by Wesley R. Edens, a former partner at BlackRock; Rob Kauffman, a managing director at UBS; and Randal A. Nardone, also a managing director at UBS.[4] Based in New York City,[5] Fortress quickly expanded into hedge funds, real estate-related investments and debt securities, run by Michael Novogratz and Pete Briger, both former partners at Goldman Sachs.[6]

Fortress's investments grew rapidly, with its private equity funds netting 39.7% between 1999 and 2006.[7] When Fortress launched on the NYSE on February 9, 2007 with Goldman Sachs and Lehman Brothers underwriting the IPO, it was the first large private equity firm in the United States to be traded publicly.[8][9] In the wake of the economic downturn of 2008, Forbes included Wesley Edens (and two other Fortress principals) among its "biggest billionaire losers of 2008", noting that Edens had "watched his fortune dwindle as investor redemption soared at the company's flagship fund".[10] Fortress and its principals were subsequently featured in an April 2009 Vanity Fair article on the adverse economic conditions facing hedge funds.[11]


In 2014, Fortress was named "Hedge Fund Manager of the Year" by Institutional Investor and "Management Firm of the Year" by HFMWeek. Fortress has previously been recognized by Institutional Investor as “Discretionary Macro-Focused Hedge Fund of the Year” for 2012, and “Credit-Focused Fund of the Year” for both 2011 and 2010.[12] In Autumn 2014, Fortress hired Jeff Feig, formerly the Global Head of Foreign Exchange at Citigroup to join Novogratz as co-CIO of the Fortress Macro Fund.[13] As of October 13, 2015, the company announced that the $2.3 billion Macro Fund was to close down and distribute its assets to investors. This development came after Feig stepped down as co-CIO of the fund in July 2015.[14] According to the firm, Novogratz, the remaining CIO, was expected to retire from the firm by the end of 2015.[15] As of June 30, 2016, Fortress Investment Group had four core businesses totaling approximately $70.2 billion of assets under management: private equity, credit, liquid markets[16] and traditional asset management (Logan Circle Partners was acquired in April 2010).[citation needed]

On February 14, 2017, SoftBank Group agreed that it would buy Fortress Investment Group LLC for $3.3 billion.[17][18] The SoftBank acquisition was completed in the last week of December,[19] with Fortress being delisted from the New York Stock Exchange, and returned to being a privately held company.[20]

In the wake of the Harvey Weinstein sexual assault scandal, in late October 2017, it was reported that Fortress Investment Group was in talks to provide a loan to Weinstein Co.[21] In December 2017, Fortress Investment Group loaned $100 million to the medical startup Theranos. Theranos had reportedly been on the verge of bankruptcy, with the loan to keep them solvent through 2018.[22][23][24] At the time, Fortress also had "underdog" bets in a private passenger rail line in Florida.[23] By January 3, 2018 the company had divested itself of Florida East Coast Railway and Logan Circle Partners.[23] It remained the parent company of the Brightline passenger rail in Florida, which is the only privately owned and operated passenger railroad in the United States.[25] Fortress Investment Group is also investing in the construction of Brightline West, a high speed rail route between Las Vegas and Southern California. The route is being advertised as “A Brightline Company.” On January 3, 2018, it was reported that Fortress was nearing a deal to sell its stake on OneMain to Apollo Global Management.[19] The agreement was announced on January 5, with Varde Partners also taking part in the purchase.[26]

In 2020, Fortress Investment increased its bid for Japanese company Unizo to roughly $1.6 billion.[27][28] In 2021, Fortress failed in a takeover bid for UK supermarket chain Morrisons.[29]

In 2023, Mubadala Investment Company announced that it would acquire majority of stake in Fortress.[30] Mubadala was to acquire 60% stakes for $3 billion from the SoftBank Group. The deal was expected to close by early 2024, and would leave Mubadala with total 70% stakes in Fortress. However, the investment deal was being scrutinized by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS). Mubadala’s intended investment was a concern for the US over the UAE’s growing relations with China. In early 2019, Mubadala took 10% percent stake of Fortress, which had gotten clearance for purchase from CFIUS.[31]

Portfolio companies[edit]

In 2006, Fortress-managed funds acquired Canadian ski resort operator Intrawest, North America's largest ski resort operator that also operated luxury adventure travel brands such as Abercrombie & Kent, which was sold in August, 2016.[citation needed][32]

In November 2006, RailAmerica announced that a Fortress-managed fund would acquire the company, offering $16.35 per share (a 32% premium). The transaction was completed in February 2007. Fortress later sold RailAmerica via initial public offering in October 2009.

In May 2007, Florida East Coast Industries (FECI), parent company of Florida East Coast Railway (FEC), announced that following a unanimous vote of the FECI Board of Directors, a Fortress-managed fund would acquire FECI in a transaction valued at $3.5 billion.[33][34] The Surface Transportation Board approved the transaction in September 2007. Although RailAmerica operated FEC for a time, the two were never merged, and after the RailAmerica IPO Fortress retained FEC. Florida East Coast Railway was sold to Mexican transportation company GMéxico Transportes S.A. de C.V. (GMXT), a unit of Grupo Mexico in 2017.[35]

In June 2007, Fortress announced that it would partner with Centerbridge Partners to acquire Penn National Gaming, an operator of casinos and horse racing venues, for $6.1 billion. Penn National shareholders were to receive $67 cash for each share. In July 2008, Fortress backed away from the agreement amidst the uncertain economic climate. Under the termination agreement, Penn National received $1.475 billion, consisting of a breakup fee of $225 million and an interest-free $1.25 billion loan from Fortress, Centerbridge, Wachovia and Deutsche Bank. Fortress co-chairman Wesley Edens assumed a seat on the board of Penn National as part of the agreement.[36][37]

Fortress has taken several of its portfolio companies public, such as Aircastle Ltd., Brookdale Senior Living Inc., GAGFAH and RailAmerica, Inc.

Fortress has said it lost $125 million purchasing fraudulent promissory notes from Marc Dreier, who had been operating a Ponzi scheme. Fortress filed a lawsuit against the law firm Dechert in an attempt to recover the loss.[38] The lawsuit was filed in New York state court, alleging Dechert issued a "false" legal opinion letter that Dreier used to defraud Fortress.[39]

Fortress's private equity investment portfolio includes Aircastle Limited, Alea Group Holdings (Bermuda) Ltd., AMRESCO, Boxclever, Capstead Mortgage Corporation, CW Financial Services, Eurocastle Investment Limited, Flagler, Florida East Coast Railway, GAGFAH, GateHouse Media, Inc., Global Signal, Inc., Green Tree Servicing LLC, Holiday Retirement, Intrawest, Italfondiario, Kramer Junction, Mapeley Limited, MBS Holdings, MS Hub, Nationstar Mortgage LLC, Penn National Gaming, Inc., Prime Retail, RailAmerica, RESG, Seacastle Inc., Simon Storage, Springleaf Financial, Umami Burger, and IPCom GmbH & Co. KG.[40]

In January 2014, Fortress was the winning bidder for the assets of the Montreal, Maine and Atlantic Railway, a line bankrupted after the July 6, 2013 Lac-Mégantic derailment of a runaway train loaded with crude oil obliterated much of historic downtown Lac-Mégantic, Quebec, causing 47 fatalities.[41] In March 2014, John E. Giles of Great Lakes Partners estimated a $10–$20 million investment would be needed over three years to repair the line, which Fortress brands as the Central Maine and Quebec Railway, as it is in poor condition and currently not safe for the transport of oil or dangerous goods.[42] The sale was completed in May 2014, for US$15.85 million.[43]

In October 2014, it was reported by the Birmingham Business Journal that Fortress had purchased the Inverness Corners retail center.[44] Fortress Investment Group is also the parent company to Mystays hotels and resorts in Japan.[45]

In April 2024, Fortress purchased the UK discount retailer Poundstretcher, which also included it's 60 store sister discount chain Bargain Buys. This added to their other UK businesses Majestic Wine and Punch Pubs.[29]


Intrawest late payment & Olympic village funds[edit]

Fortress Investment Group was the primary lender to Millennium Development Group for building the C$875 million athlete's village for the 2010 Winter Olympics in Southeast False Creek, Vancouver, British Columbia. Financial instability in September 2008 saw Fortress Investment Group reportedly at the brink of bankruptcy; consequently, Fortress was unable to provide further financing to Millennium, forcing the City of Vancouver to pay approximately $450 million (CAD) to complete the project in time for the Winter Olympic Games.[46] The City of Vancouver applied for and received legislative approval from the Province of BC to borrow as much money as required to enable the project to complete.[47] The village was completed in November 2009.[48] Three weeks before the opening of the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, Fortress failed to make payment on its loan used to buy out Intrawest. This caused its creditors to force Intrawest to divest itself of several of its resort holdings in 2009 and 2010 in order to reduce its debt load.[49] Fortress Investment became the owner of the village after the 2010 Winter Olympics.[50]

VLSI Technology LLC & INVT SPE LLC[edit]

VLSI Technology LLC & INVT SPE LLC are portfolio companies owned by investment funds managed by Fortress that have filed several lawsuits against Apple, Intel, HTC, ZTE and other telecommunications companies. In 2019, VLSI Technology LLC alleged Intel's SpeedStep technology introduced in 2005 infringes on its patent purchased.[51] During this same time, VLSI asserted its patents against several other Intel products and obtained two jury verdicts totaling over $3 billion.[52][53] INVT SPE LLC was assigned 740 telecommunications patents originally filed by Panasonic after funds managed by Fortress Investment Group acquired assets previously belonging to Inventergy Global, Inc.[54][55]

Labrador Diagnostics[edit]

On March 9, 2020, an LLC owned by funds managed by Fortress Investment Group, through its non-operating subsidiary Labrador Diagnostics (which holds patents previously owned by Theranos), alleged that BioFire's FilmArray technology infringes upon some of its patents.[56] However, on March 3, 2020, the Wall Street Journal published an article identifying that bioMérieux was working on two diagnostic tests for COVID-19.[57] After the patent infringement lawsuit was filed, bioMérieux issued a press release announcing that BioFire was developing tests to detect SARS-CoV-2.[58] After this announcement, Labrador issued a statement claiming that when it filed the lawsuit against BioFire it had no idea BioFire was developing COVID-19 testing kits.[59][60] Fortress Investment Group subsequently offered to grant both the defendants and anyone else a royalty-free license for its technology for use in COVID-19 tests.[59]

Manwin Investment[edit]

Fortress invested in Manwin Company.[61]

Key people[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Overview". Fortress Investment Group. Retrieved February 23, 2022. Fortress manages $45.7 billion of assets under management as of September 30, 2022, on behalf of over 1,900 institutional clients and private investors worldwide
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  3. ^ "Fortress Management and Mubadala to Acquire Fortress Investment Group". May 22, 2023. Retrieved December 6, 2023.
  4. ^ "Company Overview of Fortress Investment Group LLC". Businessweek. Archived from the original on June 28, 2013. Retrieved June 4, 2013.
  5. ^ "Company Profile for Fortress Investment Group LLC". Bloomberg L.P. Archived from the original on March 6, 2012. Retrieved June 4, 2013.
  6. ^ McLean, Bethany (March 4, 2009). "Bethany McLean on the Fortress Group". Vanity Fair. Retrieved March 24, 2020.
  7. ^ "Fortress Investment's Shares Soar After Initial Sale". Bloomberg. February 9, 2007. Retrieved February 10, 2007.
  8. ^ Protess, Ben; Silver-Greenberg, Jessica; Abrams, Rachel (July 14, 2016). "How Private Equity Found Power and Profit in State Capitols". The New York Times. Archived from the original on July 14, 2016.
  9. ^ Seymour, Dan (February 9, 2007). "In a First, Hedge Fund Launches on NYSE". Associated Press via Washington Post. Retrieved December 24, 2016.
  10. ^ Duncan Greenberg, "America's Biggest Billionaire Losers Of 2008, Forbes, December 16, 2008 (retrieved March 12, 2009).
  11. ^ McLean, Bethany (April 2009). "Over the Hedge". Vanity Fair. Retrieved September 28, 2013.
  12. ^ "Fortress Investment Group Named Institutional Investor's Hedge Fund Manager of the Year". Fortress Investment Group LLC. Archived from the original on January 19, 2016. Retrieved December 31, 2014.
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  14. ^ "Fortress macro fund co-investment chief Jeff Feig leaving firm". Reuters. July 6, 2015. Retrieved February 5, 2017.
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  24. ^ Sheetz, Michael (December 26, 2017). "Theranos dodges bankruptcy after $100 million loan: Report". CNBC. Retrieved January 15, 2018.
  25. ^ Broadt, Lisa (January 12, 2018). "First ride: Aboard Florida's new Brightline train". King5. Retrieved January 15, 2018.
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  27. ^ "Fortress Investment Makes $1.6B Offer For Unizo - Law360". Retrieved January 31, 2020.
  28. ^ "Softbank-backed Fortress Investment raises offer for Japan's Unizo". Reuters. January 29, 2020. Retrieved January 31, 2020.
  29. ^ a b "Poundstretcher sold to Majestic Wine owner Fortress". The Guardian. April 11, 2024.
  30. ^ "Abu Dhabi's Mubadala to buy majority stake in Fortress Investment from SoftBank". Reuters. May 22, 2023.
  31. ^ Massoudi, Arash; Sevastopulo, Demetri (July 24, 2023). "US security officials scrutinise Abu Dhabi's $3bn Fortress takeover". Financial Times. Retrieved August 8, 2023.
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  33. ^ Stephen Todd Walker (January 7, 2011). Wave Theory For Alternative Investments: Riding The Wave with Hedge Funds, Commodities, and Venture Capital. McGraw-Hill Professional. p. 365. ISBN 978-0-07-174286-3. Retrieved August 2, 2011.
  34. ^ "Florida East Coast Industries to Be Acquired By Funds Managed By Fortress Investment Group LLC in an All-Cash Transaction Valued at $3.5 Billion" (Press release). Florida East Coast Industries. May 8, 2007. Archived from the original on July 30, 2012. Retrieved May 11, 2007.
  35. ^ Basch, Mark (March 28, 2017). "Florida East Coast Railway sold to Mexican transportation company". Jacksonville Daily Record. Retrieved September 23, 2023.
  36. ^ "Penn National Gaming agrees to $6.1B deal -".
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  38. ^ "Fortress Files Suit Against Law Firm". The New York Times. December 22, 2009. Retrieved May 2, 2010.
  39. ^ Opalesque (December 22, 2009). "Fortress sues law firm Dechert over Dreier loss".
  40. ^ Lacter, Mark (February 26, 2013). "Umami Burger shuts first store, picks up more investors for expansion". Archived from the original on June 2, 2013.
  41. ^ "Lac-Mégantic disaster's MM&A sold to Florida Great Lakes Partners". CBC Montréal. January 21, 2014. Retrieved April 25, 2014.
  42. ^ Le futur propriétaire de MMA veut maintenir un lien de confiance Archived 2019-03-12 at the Wayback Machine, Rémi Tremblay, L'Echo de Frontenac (March 20, 2014)
  43. ^ "La vente de la MMA pour 17,24 M $ a été complétée aux États-Unis". La Presse. May 21, 2023.
  44. ^ "Inverness Corners sold to New York investment group". Birmingham Business Journal. October 21, 2014.
  45. ^ Fujita, Junko (September 22, 2014). "U.S. asset manager Fortress seeks more Japan hotel investments amid tourism boom". Reuters – via
  46. ^ "home". The Globe and Mail. 2009. Archived from the original on February 4, 2009. Retrieved August 28, 2017.
  47. ^ "Olympic Funding". CBC News. 2008. Retrieved December 24, 2016. "By April 2014, the City of Vancouver had paid off the entire $630 million debt of the Olympic Village project at Southeast False Creek, with $91 million being recently recouped through the sale of 67 condos for $91 million to the Aquilini Group."
  48. ^ Joanne Blain (January 14, 2010). "Athletes' Village Getting New Life After Winter Games". The New York Times.
  49. ^ "Intrawest on the auction block". Montreal Gazette. January 20, 2010. Archived from the original on January 24, 2010. Retrieved February 15, 2010.
  50. ^ Howell, Mike (April 28, 2014). "Updated: City of Vancouver sells final stake in Olympic Village City's revenue projections with developer fell short $130 million". Vancouver Courier. Retrieved December 24, 2016.
  51. ^ "Intel Wins Trial Over Chips, Dodging $1 Billion-Plus Blow". April 21, 2021. Retrieved April 26, 2021.
  52. ^ "Intel fails to overturn $2.18 billion patent verdict, plans appeal". Reuters. August 10, 2021. Retrieved May 19, 2023.
  53. ^ Blake Brittain (November 16, 2022). "Intel hit with $949 mln U.S. verdict in VLSI computer chip patent trial". Reuters. Retrieved May 19, 2023.
  54. ^ "Judge McNamara finds INVT patents are not essential, will issue comments on FRAND commitments (INVT v. Apple, 337-TA-1138)". Essential Patent LLC. April 23, 2020. Retrieved April 27, 2021.
  55. ^ "Fortress Hits ZTE over Patents Acquired from Inventergy". Retrieved April 27, 2021.
  57. ^ "Hospitals, Companies Race to Develop Tests to Spot Coronavirus-Linked Illness". March 3, 2020. Retrieved March 24, 2020.(Subscription required.)
  58. ^ "First of 3 diagnostic tests for SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus available from bioMérieux". March 11, 2020.
  59. ^ a b Edward Pearcey. "Fortress withdraws patent lawsuit over COVID-19 testing discovery". Life Sciences IP Review.
  60. ^ "Labrador Diagnostics Will Grant Royalty-free Licenses for COVID-19 Testing". Business Wire. March 17, 2020.
  61. ^ {{cite news}}: Missing or empty |title= (help)
  62. ^ a b c Leadership, Fortress, retrieved October 26, 2017
  63. ^ "Peter Lionel Briger Jr". Bloomberg. Retrieved October 26, 2017.

External links[edit]

  • Official website
    • Historical business data for Fortress Investment Group:
    • SEC filings