Two Billionaires Want to Restore the Glory of the U.S. Railroads
By Chris Bryant
February 1, 2019, 7:30 AM CSThttps://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/artic ... -railroads
Wes Edens and Richard Branson are behind the IPO of Virgin Trains U.S.A. Its Florida plan is admirable, but the financial and business challenges are huge.
Virgin Trains USA LLC, operator of a new east coast Florida passenger express train, hopes to raise about $500 million in an initial public offering in coming weeks that would value the company at about $3 billion.
The Fortress-owned parent has developed 1.5 million square feet of retail, residential and office space around the three existing Florida stations but unfortunately those assets aren’t part of the IPO. While there’s potential for other real-estate opportunities, for now the business depends on fares, food and drink, parking and sponsorship. After the IPO, it won’t be able to count on Fortress for financial handouts.