The Story The Media Continues To Ignore
Wednesday February 20, 2019
Last week an article was published by the Globe and Mail that once again regurgitates its imbalanced, unfair and exclusively negative coverage of all matters related to Fortress. As usual, the coverage only focuses on projects that have experienced challenges, which are statistically in a distinct minority compared to the high volume of Fortress’ successful projects (34 completed to date). Fortress has assisted in delivering over 2,000 residential units (almost 2 million square feet) with another 4.1 million square feet currently under construction. We believe that all members of the media have a duty to be fair and balanced in their reporting. Over $62M of funds have been paid back to lenders in Fortress projects in the last 90 days; this information is both publicly available and has been provided to the Globe, but continues to be ignored.
The list of completed projects has been made available to the Globe, with all the relevant details to permit it to verify the accuracy of that information, but the Globe has persistently ignored all of that information in pursuit of a more controversial and salacious narrative that suggests that Fortress has done something wrong.
The author of the most recent article continues to focus only on the negative, and intentionally ignores all the many successful projects that Fortress has completed. Notably, all of the successful projects, in which all investors have been repaid with interest, are based on identical syndicated loans with the very same risks as robustly disclosed in the lender disclosure documents, a redacted copy of which were provided to the Globe, and, again, ignored in furtherance of the Globe’s dedication to a critical narrative.
Specifically, the recent article in the Report on Business entitled, “Hopes fade for Fortress investors seeking to recover funds”, goes on to describe certain problems related to the Collier Centre (Barrie), Union Waterfront (St. Catharines) and Glens (Halton Hills) projects. Even though the entire focus of the piece was on Fortress as is obvious from the title and content, yet at no time did the Globe provide any opportunity for fair comment by Fortress or its legal counsel.
Had the Globe invited fair comment, we would have pointed out the points made above regarding Fortress’ many successful projects, and requested that the Globe refer to the disclosure documents for Collier (redacted of any personal investor information) and accurately identify that all of the material risks and operational features of the loans are repeatedly stated in clear terms to all prospective lenders. The Globe however was not interested in those facts, as they contradicted the Globe’s negative narrative based on the comments of a few unhappy investors rather than the actual disclosure documents.
We would also have requested that, to be fair and balanced in their reporting, they would also describe that, in the past three months, Fortress has successfully exited four further projects in which all investors have been repaid with interest, providing them a positive net return. Again, we never got the chance. We have since provided the information to the Globe (set out below). The Globe has ignored the information as it does not fit into its commitment to a negative portrayal of Fortress.
The $62M repaid by the borrowers of Braestone, Harlowe, Kingridge Square & Lotus are examples of projects that have exited under the same structure as the projects mentioned in the article. More information regarding details on lender payouts can be found on the trustee’s website.
The other side of the story, of course, cannot be ignored and we will continue to fight back against unjust, biased reporting that fails to acknowledge the 34 successful exits where all investors have been repaid with interest based on the exact same syndicated model of mortgage investing.
As has been said before, “You wouldn’t want the facts to get in the way of a good story”.