Clydesdale and Yorkshire Bank (CYBG) has agreed a £1.7bn deal to purchase Virgin Money, the Virgin Group’s financial services brand.

The deal is expected to see bank keep the Virgin name. CYBG has agreed a £12m deal with Virgin owner Richard Branson to license the name.

Current CYBG customers will see their current accounts switched to Virgin Money over the next three years. The deal is expected to make Virgin Money the United Kingdom’s sixth biggest bank, serving approximately six million customers. 

Virgin Group, the bank’s majority shareholder, currently owns a 34.8% stake in the business. However, should the deal go through, its stake in the company will fall to zero. 

By our calculations, this would mean that Virgin Group would only actually own just over half of the companies that use the Virgin name, with a 54.6% stake in these 36 ventures.

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By GlobalData

Virgin brands that aren’t owned by Virgin

Virgin Money will be the latest in a long list of Virgin Group subsidiaries to have been sold by the group.

There are 36 companies currently operating using the Virgin name. However, Virgin Group has no stake in seven of these companies, which are:

  • Virgin America: owned by Alaska Air Group (100%)
  • Virgin Balloon Flights: owned by AirXcite Limited (100%)
  • Virgin Casino: owned by Nozee Limited, part of Gamesys (100%)
  • Virgin Games: owned by Gamesys (100%)
  • Virgin Media: owned by Liberty Global (100%)
  • Virgin Media Business: owned by Liberty Global (100%)
  • Virgin Wines: owned by Direct Wines (100%)

Should the Virgin Money deal go through, it will become the eighth Virgin subsidiary to be sold off by Virgin Group.

Likewise, there are six more subsidiaries that Virgin is only a minority stakeholder in, having sold off large amounts of shares to investors.

These companies include Virgin Books, which Virgin Group holds just a 10% stake in, as well as much talked about Virgin Galactic space exploration company. Virgin Group only actually owns 33% of that company. Aabar Investments, Abu Dhabi’s sovereign wealth fund, holds a 37.8% stake in the company, having invested $380m in Richard Branson’s project.

Virgin Group’s minority-owned Virgin companies are:

  • Virgin Active: owned by Christo Wiese (80%), Virgin Group (20%)
  • Virgin Australia: owned by Nanshan Group (22.4%), Etihad Airways (21%), Singapore Airlines (19.8%), HNA Group (13%), Virgin Group (8%)
  • Virgin Books: owned by Random House (90%), Virgin Group (10%)
  • Virgin Galactic: owned by Aabar Investments (37.8%), Virgin Galactic (33%), Others (29.2%)
  • Virgin Trains East Coast: owned by Stagecoach (90%), Virgin Group (10%)
  • Virgin Orbit: owned by Aabar Investments (37.8%), Virgin Galactic (33%), Others (29.2%)

So what will Virgin Group actually own following the Virgin Money takeover?

Of the 36 Virgin-branded companies currently operating, Virgin Group owns just 16 wholly, and they’re probably not the core businesses (such as Virgin Active or Virgin Trains) that you might expect.

The 16 Virgin subsidiaries that Virgin Group holds a 100% stake in are:

  • Virgin Care: UK-based private healthcare supplier
  • Virgin Connect: Russian broadband provider
  • Virgin Experience Days: gift and experience retailer
  • Virgin Health Bank: stem cell bank
  • Virgin Holidays: travel agent
  • Virgin Hotels: hotel chain
  • Virgin Limited Edition: luxury accommodation provider
  • Virgin Megastores: entertainment retail chain
  • Virgin Mobile: global mobile provider
  • Virgin Money Giving: fundraising website
  • Virgin Produced: film, television and entertainment production company
  • Virgin Pure: water dispenser supplier
  • Virgin Radio International: global radio broadcaster
  • Virgin Sport: sports event organiser
  • Virgin Startup: non-profit startup fund
  • Virgin Unite: charity organisation

Virgin Group also holds majority stakes in airline Virgin Atlantic (51%), Virgin Trains (51%) and Virgin Vacations (51%).