Fortress's Private Equity business, launched in 1998 by Wes Edens and Randy Nardone, is focused on making control-oriented investments in cash flow generating assets and asset-based businesses primarily within North America, the Caribbean and Western Europe. The Private Equity team applies a value-oriented, opportunistic investment approach with active, hands-on management in large, addressable markets where Fortress has significant experience and expertise. While we are open to investments across a range of industries, sectors in which we have made substantial private equity investments recently include Financial Services, Transportation, Energy & Infrastructure and Healthcare.
Non-regulated financial institutions and assets
Currently focused on sourcing opportunities created by banks exiting non-regulated financial sectors across the U.S. and Europe.
Critical transportation and infrastructure related assets.
Currently focused on acquiring undermanaged assets with long-term cash flows and significant development projects.
Energy & Infrastructure
Infrastructure for energy production, transportation & storage
Energy & Infrastructure
Currently focused on investment opportunities related to the conversion of natural gas to base fuel
Senior living, maternity care and online facilitation.
Currently focused on providing better, lower cost healthcare delivery systems to a growing consumer base.
Certain themes define the Private Equity Funds’ investment approach and illustrate how the team identifies, underwrites and creates value across many of Fortress’s private equity investments. These themes include:
Across a broad spectrum of industries, the private equity team has significant experience investing in physical and financial assets ranging from railroads and airplanes, solar facilities and real estate, to loans and leases secured by commercial and consumer assets. In our view, asset-based investing provides a foundation of value against which investments can be underwritten and financed, and also facilitates a broader range of exit alternatives. Asset-based investments with stable long term cash flows can also provide an attractive option for taking advantage of positive economic trends while avoiding the “binary” outcomes linked to the vagaries of short-term economic events.
The Fortress Private Equity Funds look for investments that can be acquired at attractive valuations, often as a result of structural complexity, distress, or disfavor within the capital markets. In our experience, many of the best investments are made in difficult or changing environments, particularly when disruptions in the capital markets lead to a scarcity of funding for capital intensive businesses. This is true for whole company acquisitions as well as for opportunistic add-on investments within existing portfolio companies.
To secure the most compelling investment opportunities, the private equity team evaluates situations involving multiple asset classes, elaborate capital structures, and multifaceted tax and regulatory issues. Fortress’s investments are often at the nexus of private equity, distressed debt and asset-based investment disciplines, and require a multidisciplinary asset and corporate level approach to unlock value and optimize investment returns. In our experience, Fortress’s willingness to tackle complicated situations creates unique value buying opportunities.
The Fortress Private Equity Funds take a flexible, opportunistic investment approach, and will pursue a broad range of transaction types and structures in order to secure the best investments. The Funds principally make direct control-oriented equity investments, but may also acquire assets or make debt investments, and, where appropriate, build portfolio companies to own and manage those assets. While primarily focused on companies with long term growth prospects, we will also buy runoff businesses and portfolios where cash flows are expected to be significant. In addition to public and private market buyout investments, we have completed significant acquisitions from governments seeking to privatize assets. In distressed situations, we will seek to secure corporate ownership or control by working with a company’s board of directors or creditor’s committee in order to guide in the restructuring or recapitalization process (including through bankruptcy restructuring). Finally, our investment program includes a significant focus on build-ups in consolidating industries.
The Fortress Private Equity Funds take an extremely active, hands-on approach to managing investments. Fortress relies on a team of over 60 investment professionals to work with our companies’ management teams on the operations, capitalization, capital deployment and strategic development of the portfolio investments. To assist portfolio company management through the evolution of their businesses, Fortress has created an Operational Support team made up of professionals with expertise in various functional areas such as: procurement services; risk management; accounting; internal and external financial reporting; financial planning and analysis; information technology; and control and compliance support.
An important component of the Fortress Private Equity Funds’ investment approach is driving growth within portfolio companies by sourcing and executing follow-on investments. Even after a company’s day-to-day operations have been built out or restructured, and the management team solidified, Fortress Private Equity personnel remain significantly involved in major capital and investment decisions, and actively pursue incremental investment opportunities on behalf of and in partnership with the company’s management that the team believes will be accretive to its core operations. To raise growth capital for its private equity portfolio companies, the Private Equity Funds have significant experience accessing the public and private capital markets.
Mr. Edens is Co-Chief Executive Officer of Fortress and has been a member of the board of directors of Fortress since November 2006. Mr. Edens has been a member of the Management Committee of Fortress since 1998. Mr. Edens is responsible for the Company’s private equity and publicly traded alternative investment businesses.
Prior to co-founding Fortress in 1998, Mr. Edens was a partner and managing director of BlackRock Financial Management Inc., where he headed BlackRock Asset Investors, a private equity fund. In addition, Mr. Edens was formerly a partner and managing director of Lehman Brothers.
Mr. Edens received a B.S. in Finance from Oregon State University.
Mr. Nardone is a principal and has been a member of the Board of Directors of Fortress Investment Group LLC since November 2006. Mr. Nardone has been a member of the Management Committee of Fortress since 1998. He served as interim Chief Executive Officer from December 2011 to July 2013 and was appointed Chief Executive Officer in August 2013.
Prior to co-founding Fortress in 1998, Mr. Nardone was a managing director of UBS from May 1997 to May 1998. Before joining UBS in 1997, Mr. Nardone was a principal of BlackRock Financial Management, Inc. Prior to joining BlackRock, Mr. Nardone was a partner and a member of the executive committee at the law firm of Thacher Proffitt & Wood.
Mr. Nardone received a B.A. in English and Biology from the University of Connecticut and a J.D. from Boston University School of Law.