Fortress Investment Group has failed to sell bonds to support its $8.4 billion Brightline West high speed rail project connecting Las Vegas and Southern California, according to BloombergQuint. But the project will go forward, a Brightline representative says.
“Since the end of September, Fortress, through its company Brightline Holdings, had been marketing $3.2 billion of debt to be issued through California and Nevada agencies,” BloombergQuint reported. “It subsequently reduced the size to a still-record offering of $2.4 billion.”
Fortress had to sell the bonds by Dec. 1, the deadline for the state of California, which will now “take back the bond capacity and give it to affordable housing projects and other kinds of qualifying ventures, such as recycling facilities,” BloombergQuint reported.
A Brightline representative told Railway Age: “I’ll confirm that we postponed our bond sale but we will continue to move our project forward. Our work continues.”
The representative added: “We will continue this project; this does not stop us but rather causes us to shift our funding goals until the market improves. We will continue the project and focus on raising equity.”
A construction schedule, with potential end-of-the-year starts for work on the 135-mile California line and 34-mile Nevada line, was recently released on a new website.
Brightline also runs a 67-mile high speed rail line between Miami and West Palm Beach, Florida, which has closed temporarily due to the pandemic. A spokesman told Railway Age last month that a planned expansion to Orlando was nearly 50% complete.