Worcester T&G by way of Tokyo
More than 120 Massachusetts daily and weekly newspapers learned on Thursday that they will report to ultimate bosses halfway around the world after the private equity firm that owns GateHouse Media announced it was selling out to a Japanese multinational corporation for $3.3 billion.
SoftBank Group Corp. said it is purchasing Fortress Investment Group, which owns a senior living property management business and, through its GateHouse subsidiary, is the largest publisher of daily newspapers in the United States.
GateHouse owns a slew of Massachusetts publications, including the Telegram & Gazette in Worcester, the Patriot Ledger in Quincy, the Cape Cod Times, the MetroWest Daily News, the Enterprise of Brockton, the Standard-Times of New Bedford, and the Herald News of Fall River. It also owns the Providence Journal in Rhode Island and the Portsmouth Herald in New Hampshire.
Kirk Davis, the CEO of GateHouse, told the Boston Business Journal that the sale will have little impact on the day-to-day operations of the newspapers. Nevertheless, the owner of the newspapers will now be located even farther away — in Tokyo rather than Rochester, New York.
SoftBank is headed by Masayoshi Son, a flamboyant entrepreneur best known for his investments in telecommunications, startups, and ecommerce. He runs the second-largest telecommunications firm in Japan and also owns Sprint. He met with Donald Trump in December, after Trump’s election victory but before his inauguration as president, and promised to invest $50 billion in the United States and bring 50,000 jobs to the country.
Many analysts were puzzled why SoftBank would buy Fortress, and Son offered little explanation in announcing the deal. “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,” Son said in a statement. “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.”
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A city councilor wants her colleagues to discuss whether Quincy should declare itself a “sanctuary city.” (Patriot Ledger)
US Rep. Bill Keating, in a Globe op-ed, calls for a special prosecutor to investigate Trump campaign connections with Russia.
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New security measures are put in place at Boston’s school department headquarters in Roxbury following a recent incident in which a 15-year-old fired a gun at another teen in the building. (Boston Herald)
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The former premier of Bermuda, who is at the center of a bizarre lawsuit by the government he once headed alleging the Burlington-based Lahey Clinic bribed the former government leader, speaks out and denies the charges. (Boston Globe)
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