Weil, Gotshal & Manges and Kirkland & Ellis have acted as legal counsel to Japanese telecom and internet giant SoftBank in its $3.3 billion acquisition of New York-headquartered Fortress Investment Group, represented by Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom.
Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison and Davis Polk & Wardwell were also involved in the deal, serving as legal counsel to Fortress’s principals and the special committee of Fortress's board of directors, respectively.
According to Reuters, the all-cash transaction is SoftBank's first major investment in an asset manager. It comes in the wake of founder Masayoshi Son’s unexpected announcement in October that SoftBank is partnering with Saudi Arabia to establish a $100 billion technology fund.
Fortress has investments in private quite, real estate and hedge funds. It had investments worth $70 billion under management at the end of September 2016, and is one of few international foreign investors with funds aimed at Japanese assets, reported Reuters.
The deal is expected to “accelerate our SoftBank 2.0 transformation strategy of bold, disciplined investment and world class execution to drive sustainable long-term growth,” said Son, who is also the company’s chairman and CEO.
K&E partners Norm Champ, Sean Rodgers, Jeffrey Fine, Ian John, Ian Conner, Mike Beinus and Ben Schreiner oversaw the deal for the firm. The Weil team was led by partners Harvey Eisenberg, Jim Griffin, Michael Nissan and Mark Schwed.
Meanwhile, Ariel Deckelbaum, Marco Masotti and Ellen Ching were in charge of the transaction for Paul, Weiss. Skadden’s deal team included partners Joseph Coco, Peter Serating, Michael Dorum, Heather Cruz, Regina Olshan, Michael Schwartz and David Polster.
Partners John H. Butler, Lawrence Portnoy, David H. Schnabel, Jeffrey P. Crandall and Gregory S. Rowland handled the deal for Davis Polk.