Forbes: “SoftBank’s Big Fortress Takeover is a Bet on Infrastructure…”

SoftBank Group Corp. Chairman and CEO Masayoshi Son speaks during an earnings briefing in Tokyo

SoftBank Group Corp. Chairman and CEO Masoyoshi Son

FORTRESS INVESTMENT GROUP (FIG) IS AN INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT FIRM BASED IN NEW YORK CITY. FIG OWNS FLORIDA EAST COAST INDUSTRIES (FECI).  ALL ABOARD FLORIDA (AAF) IS A WHOLLY OWNED SUBSIDIARY OF FECI.  HOW WILL SOFTBANK’S PURCHASE AFFECT THE AAF PROJECT?

According to Indian River County Attorney Dylan Reinhold, who has been steadfast in leading the legal challenge against All Aboard Florida and the Federal Department of Transportation, “I do not know what impact if any the Softbank deal will have. I think any comments would be speculative.”

Forbes wrote in a 2.17.17 article that: “Since the financial crisis, Fortress has expanded in areas such as senior housing and infrastructure that are attracting heavy demand from institutional investors. The firm has done this by way of publicly traded permanent capital vehicles such as New Senior Investment Group and Fortress Transportation and Infrastructure Investors (FTAI). These vehicles may have appealed to SoftBank because they present stable expansion opportunities for its over $3 billion investment.”

So now we learn of another Fortress entity: Fortress Transportation and Infrastructure Investors (FTAI).

According to the FTAI website, “FTAI owns transportation infrastructure in the rail and energy sector.

FTAI owns and acquires high quality infrastructure and equipment that is essential for the transportation of goods and people globally. FTAI currently invests across four market sectors: aviation, energy, intermodal transport and rail. FTAI targets assets that, on a combined basis, generate strong and stable cash flows with the potential for earnings growth and asset appreciation. The Company’s existing mix of assets provides significant cash flows as well as organic growth potential through identified projects.

The Company is externally managed by an affiliate of Fortress Investment Group LLC, which has a dedicated team of professionals who collectively have acquired over $17 billion in transportation-related assets since 2002. As of September 30, 2016, FTAI had total consolidated assets of $1.6 billion and total equity capital of $1.2 billion.”

FTAI is a global company that owns and acquires high quality transportation equipment and infrastructure.”

fortress-containers

FTAI Containers

So what does all this mean for All Aboard Florida’s Treasure Coast Phase Two expansion?

Will SoftBank fund the $ 1.75 billion AAF wants to raise through Private Activity Bonds (PAB) and not need the $ 1.75 billion PAB’S necessary for the project?   Does SoftBank understand the existing lawsuits?  Or do they understand them and are prepared to fight them?  Do they understand what the are getting into, as it relates to AAF?

It amounts to uncertainty for the Treasure Coast as it relates to All Aboard Florida’s high speed rail transportation.

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