Virgin Group

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Virgin Group Ltd.
Industry Conglomerate
Founded February 1970 (1970-02)
Founder Richard Branson
Nik Powell
Headquarters London, United Kingdom
Area served
Key people
Sir Richard Branson (Founder)
Peter Norris (Chairman)[1]
Josh Bayliss (CEO)[1]
Products Banking
Commercial spaceflight
Consumer electronics
Health care
Mobile Phones
Revenue £15 billion (2012)[1]
Owner Richard Branson
Number of employees
Approximately 50,000

Virgin Group Ltd. is a British multinational branded venture capital conglomerate founded by entrepreneur Richard Branson and Nik Powell.[2] Its core business areas are travel, entertainment and lifestyle, and it also manages ventures in financial services, transport, healthcare, food and drink, media and telecommunications; together, Virgin's businesses consist of more than 400 companies worldwide.

Virgin Group's date of incorporation is listed as 1989 by Companies House, who class it as a holding company; however Virgin's business and trading activities date to the 1970s. The net worth of Virgin Group as of September 2008 was £5.01 billion.[citation needed]


The brand name "Virgin" arose when Branson and Powell were starting their first business, a record shop. They considered themselves virgins in business.[3] Branson has described the "V" in the logo as an expressive tick, representing the Virgin seal of approval.[3]

Corporate affairs[edit]

Virgin Group operates from its headquarters at The Battleship Building in the Paddington district of the City of Westminster.[4] Previously it was in The School House in the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham.[5]

Although Branson retains complete ownership and control of the Virgin Brand, the commercial set-up of companies using it is varied and complex. Each of the companies operating under the Virgin brand is a separate entity, with Branson completely owning some and holding minority or majority stakes in others. Occasionally, he simply licenses the brand to a company that has purchased a division from him, such as Virgin Records (now owned by Universal Music Group) and Virgin Media (now owned by Liberty Global).

In mid-May 2013, the Virgin Group expressed its intention to seek out opportunities in Australia's healthcare industry to consolidate on the Group's Australian fitness centres. The Group also owns more than 100 National Health Service (NHS) services in the United Kingdom and the healthcare division of medical services group Assura after entering the British healthcare industry in 2011.[6]

Subsidiaries and investments[edit]

Virgin Atlantic Boeing 747-400 after take-off
White Knight Two of Virgin Galactic in the air
Virgin Megastore in Dubai

Formerly owned ventures[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "About us". Retrieved 18 January 2015. 
  2. ^ "Virgin Group Ltd.: Private Company Information". BusinessWeek. Retrieved 2008-12-24. 
  3. ^ a b Richard Branson. Losing My Virginity. ISBN 1-8522-7684-3. [page needed]
  4. ^ "Our company information." Virgin Group. Retrieved on 14 October 2013. "The Battleship Building, 179 Harrow Road, London W2 6NB"
  5. ^ "Our company information." Virgin Group. Retrieved on 14 January 2009. "The School House 50 Brook Green London, W6 7RR England"
  6. ^ Damon Kitney (20 May 2013). "Virgin Group eyes slice of Australia's $65bn healthcare market". The Australian. Retrieved 20 May 2013. 
  7. ^ Virgin Health Bank - Stem cell storage, stem cells and cord blood banking UK

External links[edit]