Wes Edens wants to be the newest subprime scion.
Edens — founder of Fortress Investment Group and owner of the NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks — made his third debt-related acquisition in about a week on Tuesday when his lending company announced it was buying Citigroup’s OneMain for $4.3 billion.
The all-cash purchase by Springleaf Financial is expected to close in the third quarter of this year, and would make it the largest consumer-finance company — and subprime lender — in the country, with nearly $14 billion in receivables and almost 2,000 branches throughout the US.
The purchase comes just eight days after two other Edens companies made separate acquisitions of holdings formerly owned by Bill Erbey, the ex-chairman of mortgage servicing company Ocwen, who was recently forced to step down from his position after a two-year investigation.
The fact that a good number of Wisconsin’s elected officials from both parties are bending over backwards to hand over taxpayer dollars to Wes Edens so he can squeeze a greater profit out of the Milwaukee Bucks is absolutely galling, and I say if Wes Edens wants a shiny new basketball arena, he should pay for it himself.