Fortress in $2.4bn transport deal

Fortress Investment will pay $2.4bn to acquire Interpool, a provider of global shipping equipment and services.

New York-based Fortress Investment Group’s private equity arm is set to acquire global transport company Interpool for $2.4 billion (€1.8 billion), including assumed debt.

The alternative asset manager has agreed to pay $27.10 per share for the container and chassis leasing company, topping a previous $24 per share bid led by Interpool’s chief executive, Martin Tuchman.

“All along, our goal has been to achieve the best possible result for all Interpool stockholders,” Tuchman said in a statement. “The transaction proposed by Fortress, which was negotiated by our special committee, captures the value we have built in Interpool over many years, and along with the rest of our board I am supportive of this transaction.”

The transaction is subject to shareholder approval.

Blackstone is acting as a financial advisor for the special committee, while White & Case have provided legal advice on the transaction. Evercore Partners is providing financial counsel to Interpool’s board, while Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison and Stroock & Stroock & Lavan provided legal advice. Additionally, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom provided legal advice to Fortress.
Founded in 1998, Fortress has approximately $35.1 billion in assets under management via its private equity funds, hedge finds and publicly traded alternative investment vehicles. It manages $19.9 billion specifically related to its private equity funds.

Interpool, whose New York Stock Exchange ticker is IPX, has a $784 million market cap. The company’s 2006 net income more than doubled to $106.6 million last year, due largely to the partial sale of its container fleet.