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02/17/2017

Japanese firm to buy GateHouse parent company

From MassLive

The largest investor of GateHouse Media, which is the parent company Massachusetts newspapers including the Worcester Telegram & Gazette and MetroWest Daily News, has been purchased by a bank group based in Japan.

SoftBank Group Corp. and Fortress Investment Group LLC announced this week that they entered into a definitive merger, according to a statement.

SoftBank is acquiring Fortress for about $3.3 billion in cash, according to the statement released Tuesday.

Fortress Investment Group acquired GateHouse Media in June 2005. Daily newspapers published in GateHouse across the state include the Worcester Telegram & Gazette;  The Patriot Ledger of Quincy; The MetroWest Daily News of Framingham; The Enterprise of Brockton; The Herald News of Fall River; and The Milford Daily News of Milford.

GateHouse also publishes more than 100 weekly newspapers in the state.

"Fortress's excellent track record speaks for itself, and we look forward to benefitting from its leadership, broad-based expertise and world-class investment platform," said Masayoshi Son, chairman and CEO of SoftBank Group Corp.

"For SoftBank, this opportunity will immediately help expand our group capabilities, and, alongside our soon-to-be-established SoftBank Vision Fund platform, will accelerate our SoftBank 2.0 transformation strategy of bold, disciplined investment and world class execution to drive sustainable long-term growth," Son continued.

Senior investment professionals will remain in place through the merger, the statement said. Fortress will operate within SoftBank as an independent business headquartered in New York.

"SoftBank is an extraordinary company that has thrived under the visionary leadership of Masayoshi Son," said Fortress Co-Chairmen Pete Briger and Wes Edens. "We join a company with tremendous scale and resources, and a culture completely aligned with our focus on performance, service and innovation. We anticipate substantial benefits for our investors and business as a whole, and we have never been more optimistic about our prospects going forward."