|Headquarters||London, United Kingdom|
|Sir 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, 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.
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
Formerly owned ventures
- Absolute Radio — formerly Virgin Radio UK, rebranded in 2008
- Air Nigeria — Nigerian national airline launched as Virgin Nigeria, shares sold in 2010
- Liquid Comics — comic book producer formerly known as Virgin Comics - sold to management in 2008
- Vie at Home — cosmetics retailer formerly known as Virgin Vie, sold to management in 2009
- Virgin Brides — retailer specialising in bridal wear
- Virgin Cars — online car retailer, ceased trading in 2005
- Virgin Charter — online marketplace of private aircraft seat bookings
- Virgin Cinemas — sold to UGC in 1999
- Virgin Digital Help — technical support
- Virgin Drinks — drink manufacturer
- Virgin Electronics — electronics retailer
- Virgin Energy — joint venture energy provider
- Virgin Express — airline based in Brussels, merged with SN Brussels Airlines in 2006 to form Brussels Airlines
- V Festival — an Australian version of the V Festival
- Virgin Festival — a North American version of the V Festival
- Virgin Films — film production company
- Virgin Games — sold to Gamesys in 2013
- Virgin Interactive — closed in 2003
- Virgin Limousines — limousine service in the USA and Canada
- Virgin Media (including Virgin Mobile UK) — UK Cable TV, broadband internet and Fixed and Mobile telephony provider - bought by Liberty Global
- Virgin Mobile Australia — mobile phone service provider in Australia - shares sold to Optus in 2006
- Virgin Mobile Canada — mobile phone service provider in Canada - shares sold to Bell Mobility in 2009
- Virgin Mobile France — mobile phone service provider in France - shares sold to Numericable-SFR in 2014
- Virgin Mobile USA — mobile phone service provider in the USA - shares sold to Sprint Corporation in 2009
- Virgin Money Australia — sold to Bank of Queensland
- Virgin Money US — sold in 2010
- Virgin Sun Airlines — scheduled and charter airline, closed in 2001
- 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
- Virgin Racing — Formula One motor racing team
- Virginware — clothing retailer
- Virgin Wines — online wine market, sold to Direct Wines in 2005
- "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.
- Armstrong, Ashley (13 November 2014). "Virgin Money float triggers £50m payment to George Osborne's coffers". The Telegraph. Retrieved 19 May 2015.