Fortress Investment Group Enters a Partnership and Trademark Contract with Virgin
The co-founder of Virgin Group, Richard Branson announced a partnership and trademark licensing agreement with Brightline this month. Wes Edens is the co-founder of Fortress Investment Group and Chairman of Brightline, a railway in Florida. Stipulations of the agreement entail changing the name of railway to Virgin Trains USA with the new brand to transition in 2019. Branson is a businessman and investor with over 400 companies he has a controlling interest in. He co-found the company in 1970 with his business partner, Nik Powell.
Fortress Investment Group is an independent investment management firm headquartered in New York managing over $41 billion in assets for international institutions and net-worth clients. The executives of Brightline and Fortress will manage and operate the railway company under the partnership and trademark agreement. In May 2018, services launched between Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, and Miami. Plans are in the making to expand to Orlando and Tampa, Florida. The partners expect the construction of the railway to begin next year connecting Las Vegas to California.
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The partnership between Virgin and Fortress Investment Group enables Brightline to extend its existing US rail lines. The destinations would be from Chicago to St. Louis, Houston to Dallas, and Atlanta to Charlotte. It’s listed in a SEC filing by Brightline three days after the signing of the partnering and trademark agreement. Biz Journals reported on November 20th, 2018 that the railway filed to go public with Security Exchange Commission. The document listed the company’s assets at $1.8 billion and revenue at $5.2 million as of the end of September.
Expectations of the Virgin Group and Fortress Investment Group comprise railway expansion and providing access to millions of consumers to increase ridership. It will make accessibility convenient for customers at Virgin’s Hotels, Travel, and Hospitality establishments. Virgin Trains has been in business for over 20 years in the United Kingdom providing approximately 38 million rides on the West Coast Main Line. Branson entered the railway industry in 1993 and today, has a net worth of $5.1 billion, as of this year.
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