Billionaire Panthers Owner Takes Control Of Eastern Air Lines

Florida Panthers owner Vincent Viola now controls a majority stake and two board seats at Miami-based start up Eastern Air Lines after a recent investment.

Viola and a partner provided a $5 million equity investment, along with $5 million line of credit to the airline. The company says that they now have adequate funding to cover first-year operations with three aircraft, along with certification costs.

Eastern also recently sold $2.5 million worth of stock to 22 private investors who bought in at a much higher valuation than Viola.

Viola is the founder of Virtu Financial, and his stake in the company is estimated to be worth between $2 billion and $3 bilion. Virtu CEO and co-founder Douglas Cifu joined Viola in the Eastern investment and was also given a seat on the board.