“Virgin Group Limited is a British branded venture capital conglomerate organisation founded by business tycoon Richard Branson. The core business areas are travel, entertainment and lifestyle. 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 Ltd as of September 2008 is £5.01 billion. It consists of more than 400 companies around the world.
Virgin Group operates from its headquarters at The School House, 50 Brook Green 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 Mobile USA, Virgin Mobile Australia, Virgin Radio and Virgin Music (now part of EMI).
The brand name “Virgin” arose when Branson and a partner were starting their first business, a record shop. They considered themselves virgins in business. The current Virgin logo was originally sketched on a paper napkin and remains largely unchanged since 1979.