Posts Tagged ‘bonds’

Las Vegas Project Bond Sale Reduced

October 22, 2020

The size of the public bond sale that will finance a Las Vegas to Southern California high-speed rail project has been set at $2.4 billion.

Fortress Investment Group in announcing the sale said it will be the largest offering of unrated municipal securities.

It also acknowledged that the sale is $800,000 less than what it previously expected to sell.

The rail line will be operated by Brightline and extend from Las Vegas to Victorville, California.

Eventually, trains will reach Los Angele over tracks used by commuter rail agency Metrolink. The service has thus far been branded as Xpress West.

Brightline Bond Pricing Delayed

October 16, 2020

The reluctance of investors to buy bonds has led Fortress Investment Group to delay the pricing of $3.2 billion in municipal bonds to finance construction of Brightline’s Xpress West high-speed rail line between Southern California and Las Vegas.

A news report this week said investors are shying away from helping to finance the project in an uncertain economic climate.

Bond prices were to have been set on Wednesday but that has been delayed to an unspecified date.

 Brightline, which operates intercity rail passenger service in Florida, has until Dec. 1 to sell the bonds under a deadline set by California officials.

Las Vegas Rail Projects Gets OK to Issue Bond

April 21, 2020

A proposed intercity rail service to Las Vegas received approval last week from the California Debt Limit Allocation Committee to issue $600 million in tax-exempt bonds.

XpressWest has proposed creating a high-speed rail route between Las Vegas and Southern California.

Under Internal Revenue Service guidelines ExpressWest would be allowed to sell up to four times the amount of the $600 million in bonding authority, for a total of $2.4 billion in tax-free, private equity bonds.

ExpressWest, which is part of Virgin Trains USA, has estimated the project cost at

$4.8 billion

The route would begin in California at Victorville, although ExpressWest has said it would eventually be extended into Los Angeles.

A groundbreaking ceremony for route is being planned by the end of this year.

The U.S. Department of Transportation approved last month $1 billion in tax-free private bonds for the project.

The bonds are required to be issued by Sept. 30.

ExpressWest also is seeking approval from Nevada officials to issue $200 million in bonds, which would allow the company to market $800 million in bonds toward the project.

In an unrelated development, the California High-Speed Rail Authority has extended the public comment period to April 28 on the draft environmental impact report for the Bakersfield-to-Palmdale section of the high-speed rail system.

In a news release, CHSRA said the extra time will allow stakeholders and the public to review and submit comments on the draft EIR during the COVID-19 pandemic.

CHSRA plans to host a virtual public hearing on the report on April 23. The authority is accepting comments via mail, email, online portal and by phone.

Virgin Gets OK to Sell Bonds for Las Vegas Route

November 6, 2019

Virgin Trains USA received approval last week to issue $3.25 billion in development bonds to be used to pay for its Desert Xpress high-speed rail service between Las Vegas and Southern California.

The California Infrastructure and Economic Development Bank approved what observers said is the largest bond request in history of the state’s public sector development bank.

The development bank noted the project will create nearly 16,000 construction jobs and 400 permanent jobs once the trains are in operation.

The line will initially terminate in Victorville, California, although Virgin has said it wants to eventually extend service into Los Angeles.

The bond sales are expected to begin in the first quarter of 2020 with operations projected to start in 2023.

Virgin Sells Bonds to Finance Expansion

April 7, 2019

Virgin Trains USA sold $1.75 billion in private bonds last week and a trade publication said Virgin might have received up to $4 billion in orders for its bonds.

The Bond Buyer quoted a Morgan Stanley executive as saying, “the feedback that we received was, ‘Wow, this is a whole new level of train transportation.’”

In a statement, Virgin said is received what it termed “an overwhelming positive response from qualified investors who recognize our early success and the long-term potential for our business.”

Virgin plans to use the proceeds from the bond sale to finance an extension of service from West Palm Beach to Orlando and, later, Tampa.

The former Brightline now operates between Miami and West Palm Beach.

Calif. Selling Bonds for High-Speed Rail

March 27, 2019

The State of California plans to sell $842.8 million in general obligation bonds to benefit the state’s high-speed rail project.

The project, which earlier this year was scaled back by Gov. Gavin Newsom, would receive $600 million from the bond sale to be used to built 170-miles of high-speed rail in the Central Valley. Work on that segment is already underway.

The bond sale comes in the wake of efforts by the federal government to cancel a grant to the project and to claw back money the project has already received.

In an unrelated move, Virgin Trains USA is also planning a $1.5 billion bond sale to raise money for its planned extension to Orlando, Florida, and to retire nearly $600 million in debt.

Virgin, formerly known as Brightline, currently operates between Miami and West Palm Beach, Florida.