LONDON — Richard Branson’s Virgin Group is selling the Our Price record store chain to a management buyout team for $143 million.
Last July, Virgin paid the retailer WH Smith $244 million for the 75% of Virgin Our Price it did not already own. Virgin Our Price is the 229 branches of Our Price plus 88 Virgin Megastores in the U.K. and Ireland.
Virgin will keep the megastores, which account for the bulk of the group’s retail record business. The buyout team for Our Price is led by Our Price managing director Mike McGinley.
Virgin has pursued the strategy of acquiring a company and disposing of its smaller components before. In 1995, the group bought the MGM theater chain for $328 million. It then sold the smaller sites to ABC Cinemas for $116 million but retained the 23 multiplexes.