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Fortress announces loss

Intrawest parent company saw $140M drop in 4th quarter of 2008

By the numbers

Some Fortress full-year 2008 highlights

- Assets under management of $29.5 billion

- Fund management distributable earnings of $216 million

- Pretax distributable earnings loss of $162 million

- Net loss of $322 million, or $3.50 per share (calculated using generally accepted accounting principles)

Source: Fortress.com, click on "Investor Relations"

— Fortress Investment Group reported this week that it saw a net loss of $140 million in the fourth quarter of 2008.

New York-based Fortress, a public hedge fund and private equity firm, is the parent company of Intrawest, which owns Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp. It also is invested in several Steamboat Springs base area projects. Fortress’ fortunes have slipped since its initial public offering in February 2007.

The fourth quarter consisted of October, November and December. In its release Monday, Fortress stated that the $140 million loss represents $1.50 per share. Last year, the company reported a fourth-quarter loss of $29 million, or 43 cents per share.



The $140 million was calculated using generally accepted accounting principles. The Financial Accounting Standards Board, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission guide those principles.

Fortress’ pretax distributable earnings loss, however, was $258 million in the fourth quarter.



The Associated Press explained that term this way: “Distributable earnings exclude certain charges such as principal compensation, equity-based compensation and special gains and losses on options and other investments.”

Fortress shares have been as high as $16 and as low as 77 cents per share during the past year. They ticked up to $1.88 Wednesday but closed at $1.69. On the first day Fortress was traded publicly, Feb. 9, 2007, shares closed at $31.

In early December 2008, Fortress suspended investor redemptions from several of its Drawbridge funds. At the time, the company said it had received requests totaling $3.51 billion in redemptions to investors for November and December. That would have nearly wiped out the funds, so Fortress stopped redemptions for those months.

Fortress lifted the suspension on the Drawbridge Global Macro Fund as of Jan. 31, the company noted in a Form 8-K filing Monday. The Fortress board chose not to pay a dividend in the fourth quarter.

The company’s revenue decreased 48 percent, to $158 million from $304 million, in the fourth quarter of 2007. Fortress reported having fewer employees as of Monday than it did at the end of the third quarter: 826 compared with 900.

Intrawest and Ski Corp. officials have consistently said they can’t comment on issues related to Fortress. Lilly Donohue, Fortress’ investor relations director, did not return a call seeking comment late Wednesday afternoon.

– To reach Blythe Terrell, call 871-4234 or e-mail bterrell@steamboatpilot.com


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