Timeline of Richard Branson's business ventures
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This is a list of Sir Richard Branson's business ventures from the 1960s to today.
- 1966 - After failed attempts to grow and sell both Christmas trees and budgerigars, Branson launches his first successful business, a magazine named Student, the first issue of which appeared in January 1968.
- 1970 - Starts selling records by mail-order
- 1971 - Opens his first record shop on Oxford Street
- 1972 - Opens a Virgin Recording Studio
- 1973 - Launches Virgin Records record label 
- 1979 - Buys the gay nightclub Heaven, located under Charing Cross railway station. It was eventually sold in 2003 to a private buyer.
- 1980 - Virgin Records goes international
- 1981 - Virgin buys the Kensington Roof Gardens
- 1983 - Virgin Vision, later to become Virgin Communications, is formed to distribute films and videos in the television and broadcasting sector.
- 1983 - Virgin Games is launched.
- 1984 - Virgin Atlantic Airways and Virgin cargo are launched.
- 1984 - Virgin Vision (launched the previous year) launches "Music Box", a 24-hour satellite music station.
- 1985 - Virgin Group now includes record labels, retail outlets, exported music publishing, broadcasting, satellite television, and film and video distribution.
- 1985 - Branson starts Virgin Holidays
- 1987 - Branson takes Virgin Records to the United States
- 1987 - The Virgin Group, along with Granada, Anglia and Pearson, founds BSB (British Satellite Broadcasting) and receives a UK license to broadcast five new TV channels by satellite in the UK.
- 1987 - Virgin sets up 525, a post production facility in Los Angeles, to work on high-end commercials and pop videos.
- 1987 - Virgin sets up "Music Box" as an independent producer of music programmes.
- 1987 - Virgin buys a 45% stake in Mastertronic Group. Later Virgin Mastertronic becomes a wholly owned subsidiary of Virgin Group, creating, marketing and distributing computer games software and Sega consoles in several European countries.
- 1987 - Virgin buys Rushes Postproduction in London.
- 1987 - Virgin launches Virgin Airship & Balloon Company.
- 1987 - Richard Branson launched Mates condoms in the UK to promote condoms to young adults
- 1988 - Virgin re-opens the recently acquired and re-modeled Olympic Studios in Barnes, London.
- 1988 - Virgin launches Virgin Classics, another Virgin international record label specializing in high-quality classical music.
- 1988 - Virgin sells some of its smaller UK retail stores and puts more money into Virgin Megastores, opening new stores both in the UK and abroad.
- 1988 - Virgin sets up Virgin Broadcasting.
- 1988 - Virgin sells its shareholding in BSB.
- 1990 - Virgin Megastores arrives in Japan
- 1991 - Virgin Publishing (Virgin Books) is formed
- 1992 - Virgin Records is sold to Thorn EMI 
- 1993 - Virgin Radio hits the airwaves with Virgin 1215AM
- 1994 - Launch of Virgin Vodka and Virgin Cola
- 1995 - Virgin Direct Personal Financial Services opens for business
- 1995 - Virgin Express a European low cost Airline is launched in Brussels after the purchase and rebranding of EBA Express
- 1996 - V2 Music is created
- 1996 - Virgin.Net launches
- 1996 - Virgin Brides launches
- 1996 - Virgin Group becomes majority shareholders in London Broncos rugby league team
- 1997 - Virgin Trains is launched
- 1997 - Virgin Radio is acquired by Chris Evans
- 1997 - Virgin Cosmetics launches
- 1999 - Virgin Mobile launches Virgin's first telecoms venture
- 1999 - Virgin Active Launches in South Africa, UK and Italy
- 1999 - Majority shareholders in London Broncos is sold to David Hughes
- 2000 - Virgin launches Australian airline Virgin Blue (now called Virgin Australia)
- 2000 - Virgin sells Rushes Postproduction to Ascent Media - then Liberty Livewire
- 2000 - Virgin launches Virgin Energy
- 2000 - Virgin launches Virgin Cars
- 2004 - Virgin launches Virgin Galactic
- 2005 - Virgin Express merges with Sn Brussels Airlines to form Brussels Airlines. Virgin retains minority share.
- 2005 - Virgin Active UK acquires Holmes Place
- 2006 - Virgin announces Virgin Fuel, a new company to produce a clean fuel in the future
- 2006 - Virgin Active Spain is Launched
- 2007 - Virgin Active Portugal is Launched
- 2007 - Virgin launches Virgin Health Bank
- 2007 - Virgin launches Virgin Media
- 2007 - Virgin launches Virgin America
- 2007 - Buys 20% stakes in AirAsia X
- 2007 - Sells Virgin Megastore in the UK and Ireland
- 2007 - Virgin Media Television Launches Virgin 1
- 2007 - Closes Virgin Digital in the UK (Virgin now sells music downloads through Virgin Media's website)
- 2007 - Virgin Fuel US$400 million in Virgin Atlantic jet flight on biofuels and in renewable energy.
- 2007 - Virgin Money becomes preferred bidder for acquisition of Northern Rock (and is eventually successful).
- 2007 - Virgin Radio Italia launches in Italy in joint venture with Gruppo Finelco S.p.A.
- 2008 - Virgin Australia Airlines offers competitive prices between Australia and Los Angeles. Known as V Australia due to naming rights.
- 2008 - Virgin launches Virgin Healthcare
- 2009 - Virgin launches Virgin Money Giving
- 2010 - Virgin launches Virgin Racing, a Formula One team previously known as Manor Grand Prix
- 2010 - Virgin launches Virgin Gaming, a service for people of all skill levels to play competitively on popular Video Games.
- 2010 - Virgin launches Virgin Produced, a film and television development, packaging and production company based in Los Angeles, California.
- 2010 - Virgin launches Project, a digital magazine created exclusively for Apple, Inc's iPad.
- 2010 - Virgin Money buys Church House Trust
- 2012 - Virgin Money buys Northern Rock
- 2012 - Virgin Galactic announces the development of orbital space launch system LauncherOne.
- 2013 - Virgin Media sold to Liberty Global
- "Richard Branson". Entrepreneur. 10 October 2008. Retrieved 6 April 2013.
- "Richard Branson Biography". Bio. Retrieved 14 April 2014.
- Hosking, Patrick (29 April 1993). "Branson takes to the airwaves: Hopes are high as Virgin Radio begins broadcasting.". The Independent (London). Retrieved 24 September 2014.
- "Chris Evans takes over at Virgin Radio". BBC News (London). 9 December 1997. Retrieved 24 Sep 2014.
- "UKFI confirms completion of Northern Rock sale to Virgin Money" (PDF). UKFI. 1 January 2012. Retrieved 1 January 2012.
- Amos, Jonathan (2012-07-11). "Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic to launch small satellites". BBC News. Retrieved 2012-07-13.
- Virgin Corporate Website
- virginbrand.com Unofficial blog of the Virgin Group
- International Rescue Corps
- Gonzo Way of Branding Fast Company magazine article on Sir Richard Branson
- Is the US Virgin territory? Jane's Transport Finance
- Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI)
- International Ballooning Commission (CIA) notable flights
- Svenska Ballongfederationen, Pacific ocean flights
- Profile on BBC News dated September 27, 2004
- Mates History "Richard Branson launched Mates condoms in the UK in 1987 to promote condoms to young adults"
- Video Interview on CBC News: The Hour dated November 21, 2005
- AskMen.com feature on Richard Branson - includes pics, pictures, biography, video, related news, vital stats, and commentary.