Report: Brightline Eyes $1B Debt Sale

Written by Marybeth Luczak, Executive Editor
Brightline service will resume Nov. 8, following suspension on March 25, 2020, due to the pandemic.

Brightline service will resume Nov. 8, following suspension on March 25, 2020, due to the pandemic.

Brightline Holdings is looking to sell $1 billion in additional tax-exempt private activity bonds, Bloomberg L.P. reported on Nov. 4; the move would primarily finance the private-sector passenger rail operator’s new Miami to Orlando, Fla., line.

The Phase 2, 170-mile extension to Orlando is slated to be complete by the end of 2022 (see map below).

Brightline, whose parent company is Fortress Investment Group, “has already sold $2.7 billion of debt for the $6 billion project,” according to Bloomberg L.P. It “plans to seek formal authorization from a Florida agency needed to access the financing within a ‘couple weeks’ and market the bonds shortly afterward,” reported Bloomberg L.P. after a call with CEO Michael Reininger. “The issuance will be the last such financing for the line, he said.”

Brightline announced late last month that it would restore service on its Phase I, 67-mile line between Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach on Nov. 8, following a suspension on March 25, 2020, due to the pandemic

“Brightline is also working on commuter rail initiatives with Miami-Dade and Broward counties,” Bloomberg reported. “Fees from those commuter partnerships would be collateral for the new debt, Reininger said. The company also plans to allocate about $100 million from the sale’s proceeds to cover the interest to bond holders through January 2023. ‘We think it’s going to be attractive for the bond market,’ Reininger said.”

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