• Investment Banking

Capital Creates Better Connections

Morgan Stanley helped All Aboard Florida raise capital to finance a 21st century passenger railway in the Sunshine State.

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From Miami’s glitterati beaches and night life to Orlando’s family theme parks, Florida draws nearly 100 million tourists and a growing number of residents each year.1

Instead of a free-flowing sun-filled paradise, however, travelers might often encounter highway gridlock, local flight delays, and a culture of congestion. Indeed, along the heavily traveled corridor between West Palm Beach and Miami, commuters often fight traffic for miles, with 500 million trips taken annually between Central and South Florida.1

Imagine a high-speed train that whisks millions of travelers all year round from Miami to Orlando.

Does it have to be this way? What if time on the road could be cut by as much as 25% to 30%?1 Better yet, what if you could bypass the long lines at the airport and complete the trip from Miami to Orlando in approximately three hours instead of four or more?1

What would that take? Imagine a high-speed train that whisks millions of travelers all year round from Miami to Orlando, with stops in West Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale—a stress-free journey without driving or long security lines at airports.

That’s what All Aboard Florida envisioned when it set out to develop Brightline, an express, intercity train. A division of Florida East Coast Industries, one of the state’s oldest and largest commercial real estate, transportation and infrastructure companies, All Aboard Florida proposed an ambitious yet simple project: Connect existing tracks to create a state-of-the-art passenger railway system linking Southeast and Central Florida, with express trains offering speed, comfort and convenience.

Not exactly your typical American transportation infrastructure project. Unfazed, All Aboard Florida lined up the support it needed. To help secure the capital to move forward with development of Brightline, All Aboard Florida turned to Morgan Stanley, a firm with decades of experience helping visionaries secure funding for their innovative, game-changing projects.

In June 2014, Morgan Stanley helped All Aboard Florida raise $405 million in a high-yield bond offering for All Aboard Florida to finance the first phase of the project. Now, All Aboard Florida has built three train stations and prepared existing railways to handle Brightline passenger trains moving at up to 125 miles per hour.1

This summer, the first Brightline trains are expected to pull out of the new station in Miami, cutting through the usual gridlock on its way to West Palm Beach, and becoming the first privately owned high-speed rail to operate in the U.S.—service from Miami to Orlando will follow.

All Aboard Florida had the vision to bring a fast intercity rail to the Sunshine State. With Morgan Stanley’s help, the company raised capital to continue its journey toward transforming transportation in Florida.

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