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How Billionaire Wes Edens Built a $3.7bn Business in Food Retail: How He Went From Raising Shares to Investing in Irish Banks

It is the second significant deal in a matter of weeks for Edens. Since 2009, Wes Edens has acquired a number of other successful businesses, including Colorado-based Royal Gold Inc, Arizona’s Gold and Silver Corporation. Wes Edens is the CEO and founder of Fortress Investment Group (FIG), an investment management firm founded in 1998, based in New York, NY.

Wes Edens and his latest acquisition in Morrisons, is a typical investment and a master-class in buying businesses and turning them around. Wes Edens is well known as the founder and CEO of Fortress Investment Group (FIG) and as an avid art collector. After selling his high-profile hedge fund, Edens kept his “eye on the ball”, as it were, with the firm’s focus on special situations.

He invests in companies in distressed situations, such as the financial crisis, and acquires them or makes strategic changes. After Morrisons reported a 25% drop in first-quarter profit last week, the stock plunged by as much as 10% as investors took fright over rising costs and a slowdown in food sales, in a “peak period” for the market. The supermarket giant had previously warned that same-store sales would shrink in the first quarter.

“We were about to get this remarkable storm that never came,” said Neil Saunders, managing director of GlobalData Retail, as analysts predicted that the shopping spree of Black Friday, Christmas and Valentine’s Day would push sales back into growth territory, but “we had not expected this correction.” As the rumors surfaced, Edens purchased the Houston-based oil and gas company Western Gas Partners for $6 billion, acquiring 100 percent of the company’s equity and 32.5 percent.

No matter which economy you look at, the majority of the economic or political talk on the back pages is likely to focus on the USA, China, Russia, even Europe. However, on today’s economic landscape, the USA (USA) and China (China) each have about 18% of the global economy. By comparison, the European Union (EU) has a combined GDP of about 17%.