Abu Dhabi-based Mubadala Investment is in discussions to acquire asset management firm Fortress Investment Group from Japan’s SoftBank Group, reported Bloomberg News citing people familiar with the development.

The deal is expected to value the asset manager at more than $1bn.

According to the sources, the discussions are at an early stage and there is no certainty that both parties will reach an agreement. They also added that other potential buyers are likely to emerge.

Spokespersons for Mubadala, SoftBank and Fortress did not comment on the news. 

Last year, a report by Bloomberg said that SoftBank was reviewing options for Fortress due to the inability to integrate the latter’s operations with its own.

New York-based Fortress was acquired by the Japanese lender in 2017 for $3.3bn with a plan to tap its expertise to help manage its Vision Fund.

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Mubadala, which is said to have been a long time SoftBank counterpart, also said at the time it would be among anchor investors in the firm’s debut Vision Fund.

At the time SoftBank Masayoshi Son had said: “This opportunity will immediately help expand our group capabilities, and, alongside our soon-to-be-established SoftBank Vision Fund platform, will accelerate our SoftBank 2.0 transformation strategy of bold, disciplined investment and world class execution to drive sustainable long-term growth.”

However, SoftBank had to let go of daily operations of Fortress in order to win approval from Committee on Foreign Investment in the US.

The asset manager has been run independently since the acquisition.