Fortress sees partial first quarter dividend

Following its initial public offering on February 9, the New York-based alternative asset manager has seen about a 25 percent premium over its pre-IPO annualized dividend.

Fortress Investment Group, the first company with a significant private equity business in the US to go public, has had a partial first quarter cash dividend of $0.1225 per Class A share.

The dividend is for the period of February 8—the day before the company listed itself on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol FIG—through March 31. It is payable on April 13 to those who hold shares on March 30.

The dividend reflects an annualized dividend of $0.85 per share. That value is a 25 percent premium over Fortress’s pre-initial public offering annualized dividend of $0.68. Fortress intends to pay dividends on a quarterly basis, the company said in a statement.

“Although it is still early, our increased dividend reflects our expectation for strong performance this year,” Wesley Edens, the chief executive officer, said in the statement.

In addition to private equity, New York-based alternative asset manager Fortress also invests and manages hedge funds and publicly traded alternative investment vehicles. Founded in 1998, the firm had more than $30 billion in total assets under management as of December 31, 2006, the statement said.

Fortress roughly doubled its market capitalisation when it debuted on the New York Stock Exchange at about $35 per share on February 9. It sold a 10 percent stake in its management company, which was worth about $1.2 billion. The initial public offering valued the firm at about 40 percent of assets under management, a huge increase over previous valuations assigned to alternative investment management companies. In previous transactions, hedge fund and private equity fund management companies were valued at about 10 percent of assets under management.