Villa owner joins up with Branson

By Graham Hill

VILLA co-owner Wes Edens and fellow billionaire Richard Branson are teaming up on a £2.2billion railway project in the USA.

Edens, co-founder of Fortress Investment Group LLC, and Virgin Group’s Branson are looking to attract investors for the project.

Virgin Trains USA hope to raise about $500 million in an initial public offering that would value the company at about $3 billion.

Its line connecting Miami and West Palm Beach is the first major private intercity rail service built in more than a century.

Edens’ idea is to connect cities that are “too long to drive, too short to fly”.

The pair plan to add stops in Orlando and Tampa and fund a similar project connecting Las Vegas and southern California – which will require several billion more dollars according to.

Branson told bloomberg.com in November: “We transformed domestic air travel with Virgin America. Tens of millions of Americans travel on the railways every day, and we have tried for over a decade to find an opportunity to provide them with that same excellent service experience.”

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