Virgin Group

Virgin Group Ltd.
Industry Conglomerate
Founded February 1970
Headquarters London, United Kingdom
Area served
Key people
  • Peter Norris
  • Josh Bayliss (CEO)[1]
Products Banking
Commercial aviation
Commercial spaceflight
Consumer electronics
Health care
Mobile phones
Revenue £19.5 billion (2016)[1]
Number of employees
Approximately 71,000

Virgin Group Ltd. is a British multinational venture capital conglomerate founded by entrepreneurs Sir Richard Branson and Nik Powell.

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 back to the 1970s. The net worth of Virgin Group was estimated at £5–5.5 billion as of November 2014.


The brand name "Virgin" arose when Richard Branson and Nik Powell formed a record shop. They considered themselves virgins in business.[2] Branson has described the "V" in the logo as an expressive tick, representing the Virgin seal of approval.[2]

The original logo was a completely different design intended to be used for the record company that was founded by Richard Branson and Nik Powell. According to Richard Branson in interviews and on the Virgin website, the more recent signature logo was based on one that a designer scribbled on a napkin after a design meeting.[3][4] After signing the Sex Pistols to the label it was clear that there would need to be a rethink on the design. Today the Virgin logo is a standardised font named NASA which is used throughout all of the Virgin products.

Corporate affairs

Virgin Group has its headquarters at The Battleship Building in the Paddington district of the City of Westminster.[5] Previously it was in The School House in the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham.[6]

The Virgin Group of companies have a complex structure that contains elements of a generic conglomerate and a keiretsu, and sometimes it simply licences its brand. Examples of licensing are Virgin Records and Virgin Media, which are owned by Universal Music Group and Liberty Global respectively.

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 runs over 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.[7]

Virgin Group announced the establishment of Virgin Cruises on 4 December 2014 with financial backing from Bain Capital. The cruise line would be led by CEO Tom McAlpin, would have two new large ships built and be based in the Miami/Fort Lauderdale area.[8][9]

Virgin StartUps

In 2014, Branson and Virgin Group launched the "Foodpreneur" food and drink focused start-up competition. Winners receive mentorship from Branson, legal support, and brand counseling.[10] The 2014 winners included Proper Beans, Killer Tomato, Sweetpea Pantry, and Sweet Virtues.

In 2015, the competition expanded to the Virgin StartUp's Foodpreneur Festival. The 2015 winners were given the opportunity to pitch Target Corporation buyers. The 2015 winners included Pip & Nut, Double Dutch Drinks, Harry Bromptons, Cauli Rice, and Mallow and Marsh.[11]

Only one start-up was announced winner of the 2017 Foodpreneur prize, The Snaffling Pig Co., who won a six-week rental space at Intu Lakeside, the retail center with the highest foot traffic in the U.K.[12]

Subsidiaries and investments

Virgin Active 20% Gym Chain
Virgin Atlantic 20% Travel
Virgin Australia Holdings 8% Travel
Virgin Books 10% Publishing
Virgin Care 100% Health
Virgin Connect 100% Media
Virgin Experience Days 100% Entertainment
Virgin Galactic 33% Aerospace
Virgin Health Bank 100% Health
Virgin Holidays 100% Travel
Virgin Hotels 100% Hospitality
Virgin Hyperloop One Unknown, not 100% High-speed rail
Virgin Limited Edition 100% Hospitality
Limobike 100% Travel
Virgin Megastores 100% Retail
Virgin Mobile 100% Communications
Virgin Money 34%[13] Banking
Virgin Oceanic Leisure
Virgin Orbit 33% Aerospace
Virgin Pulse 100% Business Services
Virgin Racing 100% Motorsport
Virgin Radio 100% Entertainment
Virgin Rail Group 51% Travel
Virgin Sports 1% Sports
Virgin Unite 100% Charity
Virgin Startup 100% Charity
Virgin Vacations 100% Travel
Virgin Voucher 100% Retail
Virgin Voyages 100% Cruise line

Formerly owned ventures

See also

  • London portal
  • Companies portal


  1. 1 2 3 "About us". Retrieved 18 January 2015.
  2. 1 2 Richard Branson. Losing My Virginity. ISBN 1-8522-7684-3.
  3. "Extra: Richard Branson Full Interview - Freakonomics".
  4. ANash (15 August 2016). "The Virgin logo".
  5. "Our company information Archived 31 December 2008 at the Wayback Machine.". Virgin Group. Retrieved 14 October 2013. "The Battleship Building, 179 Harrow Road, London W2 6NB"
  6. "Our company information Archived 31 December 2008 at the Wayback Machine.." Virgin Group. Retrieved 14 January 2009. "The School House 50 Brook Green London, W6 7RR England"
  7. Kitney (20 May 2013). "Virgin Group eyes slice of Australia's $65bn healthcare market". The Australian. Retrieved 20 May 2013.
  8. Sampson, Hannah (23 June 2015). "Virgin Cruises to base first 2,800-passenger ship in Miami". The Miami Herald. Retrieved 24 June 2015.
  9. Stieghorst, Tom (4 December 2014). "Richard Branson to enter cruise business". USA Today. Retrieved 24 June 2015.
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  11. Missing or empty |title= (help)
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  13. Armstrong, Ashley (13 November 2014). "Virgin Money float triggers £50m payment to George Osborne's coffers". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 19 May 2015.
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