Miami is a bustling city that has been in great need of a passenger rail service that can get people around. While the city’s rail freight system is one of the best in the world, Wes Edens and Richard Branson have been working to create travel options for people. Edens helped to build Brightline, which was the first large, private intercity rail that connected Miami to West Palm Beach. Virgin Trains USA LLC. is now the name of Brightline, and Branson and Edens are seeking $500 million in its initial public offering. In the past, this may have been an easy task, but today, intangible tech assets dominate the economy.
Richard Branson decided to work with Wes Edens by allowing the company to use the Virgin brand. In return, it is expected that Virgin will have cross selling opportunities, and it also owns a decent piece of the company’s equity. Edens is the frontman for the project, and funds from Fortress will still control the larger part of the company after the IPO takes place. Tickets for the railway are affordable, and it has added stops in Orlando and Tampa. Edens is sure that the offering will help many people who feel that many of the cities they want to travel to are too close to fly to but too far for a drive.
While some see the collaboration as a risky one, the connection to Orlando, alone, will probably create enough revenue to support it. Wes Edens has worked with Fortress Investment Group to develop large residential, office, and retail space all around the three stations that are ran by Virgin Trains USA LLC. As it stands, tickets, parking, beverages and food, and sponsorships are what is driving the railway company forward. The IPO is expected to offer quite a bit of help, as well, but the company will need to raise more than $2 billion in the future. Richard Branson and Wes Edens says that the risk has been worth it and are hoping to be able to continue building the largest private express railway in the last century.