A in front of an advertising poster of the SoftBank telecommunications company in Tokyo. Photo: Reuters/Thomas Peter

Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp has agreed to buy Fortress Investment Group LLC, a private-equity firm and asset manager, for about US$3.3 billion in cash, a surprise move for a group that has to date focused on telecoms and technology.

The companies said Fortress principals would continue to lead the fund, which will operate within SoftBank as an independent business, based in New York.

Fortress shareholders will receive US$8.08 per share, a premium of 38.6% to the closing price on February 13.

Fortress plans to maintain its current base dividend of 9 US cents per share for the fourth quarter of 2016, the company said in a statement.

SoftBank is driving large-scale investments through a US$100 billion tech fund set up with Saudi Arabia in October. The fund is being run by Rajeev Misra, a former investment banker and, briefly, Fortress employee.