|Headquarters||London, United Kingdom|
|Richard Branson (Founder)
Peter Norris (Chairman)
Josh Bayliss (CEO)
|Revenue||£15 billion (2012)|
Number of employees
Virgin Group Ltd. is a British multinational branded venture capital conglomerate founded by entrepreneur Richard Branson and Nik Powell. Its core business areas are travel, entertainment and lifestyle, and it also manages ventures in financial services, transport, health care, 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.
The brand name "Virgin" arose when Branson and Powell were starting their first business, a record shop. They considered themselves virgins in business. Branson has described the "V" in the logo as an expressive tick, representing the Virgin seal of approval.
Virgin Group operates from its headquarters at The Battleship Building in the Paddington district of the City of Westminster. Previously it was in The School House in the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham.
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.
Subsidiaries and investments
- AirAsia X — long-haul budget airline operating from Malaysia (16% owned by Virgin Group)
- V Festival — two-day music festival held in two separate locations in the United Kingdom
- Virgin Active — a health club chain in the UK, Australia, South Africa, Spain, Singapore, Portugal, and Italy
- Virgin America — a United States budget airline based at San Francisco International Airport (25% owned by Virgin Group)
- Virgin Atlantic Airways — an international carrier based in Crawley, West Sussex, UK (51% owned by Virgin Group)
- Virgin Australia Holdings (10% owned by Virgin Group)
- Virgin Balloon Flights — a hot air balloon operator
- Virgin Books — publisher, retailer and distributor of books (10% owned by Virgin Group)
- Virgin Care — provides National Health Services care, formerly Assura Medical
- Virgin Connect — broadband Internet access and telephony in Russia
- Virgin Digital Help — technical support
- Virgin Earth Challenge — competition to find solutions to global warming
- Virgin Experience Days — corporate and consumer experience events
- Virgin Galactic — a venture to market and operate commercial space flights, using spacecraft designed by Scaled Composites
- Virgin Green Fund (originally known as Virgin Fuels) — venture capital firm for investing in petroleum alternatives
- Virgin Health Bank — a business enabling parents to store their baby's stem cells
- Virgin HealthMiles
- Virgin Holidays — UK travel agency and tour operator for worldwide destinations served by Virgin Atlantic and its partner companies
- Virgin Holidays Cruises — UK cruise holiday agent
- Travel City Direct - UK Online Travel Agent for holidays to Florida, acquired from the now defunct XL Leisure Group after it went into administration.
- Travel City Direct Cruises — UK cruise holiday operator for holidays to Florida and the Caribbean
- Bales Worldwide Ltd - Small UK Tour Operator
- Virgin Hotels
- Virgin Life Care — fitness group in South Africa
- Virgin Limited Edition — exclusive hotel operator
- Kasbah Tamadot — exclusive Moroccan holiday destination
- Lady B — luxurious Catamaran available for Caribbean charters
- The Lodge — ski lodge
- Natirar — private spa located in Somerset County, New Jersey
- Necker Island — exclusive island in British Virgin Islands for private hire
- The Roof Gardens and Babylon — 1.5 acres (6,100 m2) open air gardens, venue, nightclub and restaurant in Kensington, London
- Ulusaba — exclusive game reserve in South Africa
- Virgin Limobike — passenger bike service in London
- Virgin Megastores — entertainment retailer, operating in the Middle East
- Virgin Mobile
- Virgin Mobile South Africa — provider of mobile phone service in South Africa - joint venture with Calico Investments (55%)
- Virgin Mobile Colombia — provider of mobile phone service in Colombia
- Virgin Mobile India — provider of mobile phone service in India - franchise agreement with Tata Teleservices (50%)
- Virgin Money — providers of financial services
- Virgin Money Giving — Online fundraising website
- Virgin Radio International — radio stations in Canada, France, Turkey, Lebanon, United Arab Emirates, Thailand
- Virgin Rail Group
- Virgin Unite — charitable foundation
- Virgin Wines - Online wine market
- Virgin Vacations — U.S. travel agency
Formerly owned ventures
- Liquid Comics — comic book producer - sold to management
- Virgin Brides
- Virgin Drinks — drink manufacturer
- Virgin Games - sold to Gamesys in 2013
- Virgin Interactive - closed in 2003
- Virgin Media (including Virgin Mobile UK) - UK Cable TV, broadband internet and Fixed and Mobile telephony provider - bought by Liberty Global
- Virgin Mobile Canada — provider of mobile phone service in Canada - shares sold to Bell Mobility
- Virgin Mobile France — provider of mobile phone service in France - shares sold to Numericable-SFR
- Virgin Money Australia — sold to Bank of Queensland
- Virgin Money US - sold in 2010
- Virgin Trains ExpressCoach — former operator of inter-city bus & coach services
- Virgin CrossCountry — former operator of the Cross Country railway franchise in the United Kingdom, services transferred to Arriva in 2007 (51%)
- Virgin EMI Records - Soundtrack label - owned by Universal Music Group
- Virgin Records - American music soundtrack label
- "About us". Virgin.com. Retrieved 18 January 2015.
- "Virgin Group Ltd.: Private Company Information". BusinessWeek. Retrieved 2008-12-24.
- Richard Branson. Losing My Virginity. ISBN 1-8522-7684-3.[page needed]
- "Our company information." Virgin Group. Retrieved on 14 October 2013. "The Battleship Building, 179 Harrow Road, London W2 6NB"
- "Our company information." Virgin Group. Retrieved on 14 January 2009. "The School House 50 Brook Green London, W6 7RR England"
- Damon Kitney (20 May 2013). "Virgin Group eyes slice of Australia's $65bn healthcare market". The Australian. Retrieved 20 May 2013.
- Virgin Health Bank - Stem cell storage, stem cells and cord blood banking UK