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Virgin Trains USA postpones IPO

Virgin Trains USA, the new name for Brightline, has postponed its IPO.

Reuter’s International Financial Review reported that investors were interested in a deal that was priced around $12 a share, but earlier plans called for $17 to $19 a share.

“As we explored a public offering, a number of alternative financing sources became available that allow us to keep the company private and meet our growth strategies,” Ben Porritt, a spokesman for the rail company said in an email to Bloomberg.

One challenge for Virgin Trains USA is that it is the first U.S. private high-speed rail system, which makes it impossible for investors to find a similar venture with a proven track record. The rail service has trains from Miami to West Palm Beach and is working on an extension to Orlando and then Tampa. The company is also looking at other U.S. markets.

The Virgin Trains USA IPO, a 17 percent stake in the company, would have been the biggest so far this year in the U.S. at up to $538 million. The IPO market has been weak amid the trade war with China and drama over government shutdowns.

Fortress and Virgin Group would have remained majority shareholders in a deal that would have valued Virgin Trains USA at up to $3.15 billion.

What exactly the company’s alternative financial sources are was not detailed, but it has deep-pocketed, well-connected owners. Fortress Investments had $42.1 billion in investments as of Sept. 30. Fortress is in turn owned by Japan’s Softbank, the fourth largest publicly traded company in Japan.

 

 

 

 

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Drew Limsky

Drew Limsky

Editor-in-Chief

BIOGRAPHY

Drew Limsky joined Lifestyle Media Group in August 2020 as Editor-in-Chief of South Florida Business & Wealth. His first issue of SFBW, October 2020, heralded a reimagined structure, with new content categories and a slew of fresh visual themes. “As sort of a cross between Forbes and Robb Report, with a dash of GQ and Vogue,” Limsky says, “SFBW reflects South Florida’s increasingly sophisticated and dynamic business and cultural landscape.”

Limsky, an avid traveler, swimmer and film buff who holds a law degree and Ph.D. from New York University, likes to say, “I’m a doctor, but I can’t operate—except on your brand.” He wrote his dissertation on the nonfiction work of Joan Didion. Prior to that, Limsky received his B.A. in English, summa cum laude, from Emory University and earned his M.A. in literature at American University in connection with a Masters Scholar Award fellowship.

Limsky came to SFBW at the apex of a storied career in journalism and publishing that includes six previous lead editorial roles, including for some of the world’s best-known brands. He served as global editor-in-chief of Lexus magazine, founding editor-in-chief of custom lifestyle magazines for Cadillac and Holland America Line, and was the founding editor-in-chief of Modern Luxury Interiors South Florida. He also was the executive editor for B2B magazines for Acura and Honda Financial Services, and he served as travel editor for Conde Nast. Magazines under Limsky’s editorship have garnered more than 75 industry awards.

He has also written for many of the country’s top newspapers and magazines, including The New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Miami Herald, Boston Globe, USA Today, Worth, Robb Report, Afar, Time Out New York, National Geographic Traveler, Men’s Journal, Ritz-Carlton, Elite Traveler, Florida Design, Metropolis and Architectural Digest Mexico. His other clients have included Four Seasons, Acqualina Resort & Residences, Yahoo!, American Airlines, Wynn, Douglas Elliman and Corcoran. As an adjunct assistant professor, Limsky has taught journalism, film and creative writing at the City University of New York, Pace University, American University and other colleges.