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Wes Edens Takes on English Soccer

Posted by eastcoop on

Wes Edens is a co-founder of Fortress Investment Group, a multi-asset class hedge fund that he established in 1998 with Randall Nardone and Robert Kauffman. Edens is a veteran of Lehman Brothers and BlackRock Financial, where he has a background in private equity. Fortress has active divisions that specialize in private equity, as well as credit and distressed companies. Fortress went from having $400 million in assets under management to having roughly $40 billion today. In 2006, it became the first private equity hedge fund to publicly list its shares on the New York Stock Exchange. In 2017, Fortress was purchased by the Japanese company SoftBank for $3.3 billion. Edens oversees the private equity portfolio of Fortress, which continues to be active today.

Wes Edens is also known for his positions in the financial services and mortgage industry. Edens is the chairman of Nationstar Mortgage, a lender in the subprime sector. Perhaps his greatest notoriety has come from the sports world. In 2014, Wes Edens and Marc Lasry teamed up to purchase the Milwaukee Bucks for $550 million. The pair was instrumental in helping the Bucks remain in Milwaukee, and overseeing construction of the Bucks’ new downtown arena. Under Edens and Lasry, the franchise has experienced a rebirth, and has become a consistent participant in the National Basketball Association playoffs.

Wes Edens is attempting to re-create his winning formula and apply it to English soccer. Recently, Edens and dutch magnate Nassef Sawiris made a cash infusion into Aston Villa, resulting in their ownership of a 55 percent stake in the storied English soccer club. Aston Villa was a longstanding participant in the top flight of English soccer, before being relegated to the League Championship several years ago, and it has since fallen on hard times financially. The club needed an equity infusion to financially right itself as it attempts to regain its status as a top force in English soccer. The club, based in Birmingham, England, intends to invest in player acquisition as it attempts to climb the ladder in the League Championship to achieve promotion. Billionaire Sawiris, Edens to Buy Aston Villa Soccer Club