Monday, January 7, 2008

Virgin Group Ltd is a conglomeration of separately run companies that each use the Virgin brand of British celebrity business tycoon Sir Richard Branson. The core business areas are travel, entertainment and lifestyle, among others. 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.
Although Branson retains complete ownership and control of the Virgin Brand, the commercial set up of companies using it is varied and complex. The group is sometimes perceived as a conglomerate, but this is not in fact the case. Each of the companies operating under the Virgin brand are separate entities, with some being wholly owned by Branson, while he holds 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 Radio (now part of SMG plc) and Virgin Music (now part of EMI). With a few exceptions, all of the companies began as wholly owned Virgin subsidiaries.

Virgin Cosmetics Virgin Brands (under various ownership)
Further information: List of Richard Branson's business ventures

AirAsia X — long-haul budget airline operating from Malaysia (20% owned by Virgin Group)
Oüı FM — rock radio station in France and Asia
TheTrainLine — train booking service in the United Kingdom
V Festival — two-day music festival held in two separate locations in the United Kingdom

  • V Festival (Australia) — an Australian spin—off of the V Festival, begun in 2007
    Virgin Festival — a North American variant of the V Festival, begun in 2006
    Virgin Active — a health club chain in South Africa, Spain, Italy and the UK
    Virgin America — a budget airline based at San Francisco International Airport, catering for domestic US flights
    Virgin Atlantic Airways — an international carrier based at Heathrow Airport, London
    Virgin Balloon Flights — a hot—air balloon operator
    Virgin Blue — a budget airline in Australia and the South Pacific based in Australia

    • Blue Holidays — holiday program of Virgin Blue
      Pacific Blue — a subsidiary based in New Zealand
      Polynesian Blue — a subsidiary based in Samoa
      V Australia — a trans-Pacific subsidiary between Australia and the United States
      Virgin Books — publisher, retailer and distributor of books
      Virgin Brides — bridal wear shop in Manchester, UK
      Virgin Charter — a private jet online marketplace
      Virgin Cars — a budget car dealership and superstore in the UK (now defunct)
      Virgin Cinemas — sold to UGC, now Cineworld
      Virgin Comics — comic book producer
      Virgin Vie At Home — retailer of cosmetics, jewellery and homeware through internet, direct selling and Virgin Vie stores

      • Virgin Vie [2] — brand of cosmetics and jewelery
        Virgin Digital — online digital music retailer that will close in October 2007
        Virgin Drinks — drink manufacturer

        • Virgin Cola — carbonated cola soft drink
          Virgin Vodka — alcoholic beverage
          Virgin Electronics — formerly Virgin Pulse, consumer electronics
          Virgin Experience Days — corporate and consumer experience events
          Virgin Express — a low-cost European airline, now merged with SN Brussels Airlines to become Brussels Airlines
          Virgin Films (also known as Virgin Pictures) — a short—lived film production company
          Virgin Flowers — retailer of flowers through internet
          Virgin Fuel — venture capital firm for investing in petroleum alternatives
          Virgin Galactic — a venture to market and operate commercial space flights, using spacecraft designed by Scaled Composites.
          Virgin Games [3] — online games and gambling
          Virgin Health Bank [4] — a new business from Branson enabling parents—to—be to store their baby's stem cells
          Virgin Holidays — UK travel agency and tour operator for worldwide destinations served by Virgin Atlantic and its partner companies, including Singapore Airlines
          Virgin Interactive (originally known as Virgin Games) — games distributor now owned by Titus Interactive
          Virgin Jewellery — jewellery arm of Virgin Cosmetics
          Virgin Limited Edition — exclusive hotels

          • 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 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 Limousines — chauffeured limousine service in San Francisco and Northern California
            Virgin Media — Provides home telephony, cable television, broadband and mobile to the United Kingdom
            Virgin Media Television — a British television network, made up of Virgin 1, Trouble, Bravo, Living TV & 50% stake in UKTV. Formaly known as Flextech.

            • Virgin 1 — a general entertainment channel on Freeview and Virgin Media.
              Virgin Mobile — brand used by several companies providing mobile phone service around the world

              • Virgin Mobile UK — provides mobile phone service in the United Kingdom, now part of Virgin Media
                Virgin Mobile Australia — provides mobile phone service in Australia
                Virgin Mobile Canada — provides mobile phone service in Canada
                Virgin Mobile South Africa — provides mobile phone service in South Africa
                Virgin Mobile USA — provides mobile phone service in the United States
                Virgin Mobile France — provides mobile phone service in France
                Virgin Megastores — CD, DVD and games retailer chain with high—street and online stores

                • Virgin XS — Factory Outlet—orientated format of Virgin Megastores
                  Virgin Money — providers of financial services

                  • Virgin Credit Card
                    Virgin Nigeria — international, regional and domestic Nigerian airline
                    Virgin Play — a video game promoter, distributor and marketer in Spain
                    Virgin Radio — (now owned by SMG plc) British commercial radio station broadcast on AM, FM (London only), DAB, internet, Digital TV. Other Virgin radio brands include:

                    • Virgin Radio Classic Rock — (SMG plc) classic rock station broadcast on DAB, internet and Satellite TV
                      Virgin Radio Groove — (SMG plc) soul, motown and disco music station broadcast on DAB, internet and Satellite TV
                      Virgin Radio Xtreme — (SMG plc) rock station aimed at teenage males broadcast on DAB, internet and Satellite TV
                      Virgin Radio Asia — collection of station operating in India and Thailand including Virgin Soft, Hitz, Easy FM and Oui
                      Virgin Radio Italy — A new Italian radio station property of Finelco Group, started in July 2007
                      Virgin Records — record label now owned by EMI
                      Virgin Spa — shop chain retailing Virgin Cosmetics product
                      Virgin Sun — a UK based charter airline sold to Air 2000
                      Virgin Trains — a railway operator in the United Kingdom
                      Virgin Unite — charitable foundation
                      Virgin Vacations — U.S. travel agency
                      Virgin Vines — A Californian—based company, created in 2005 and producer of Red and White wines
                      Virgin Voucher — staff incentive scheme
                      Virgin Ware — clothes brand and retailer
                      Virgin Wines — internet wine retailer sold to Direct Wines in 2005
                      V2 Records — an independent music label sold in to EMI in 2006

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