You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Branson to tune out V2

Exec sells majority of interest in label, exits music biz

Richard Branson is out of the music business, selling all but 5% of his interest in the label V2 to Morgan Stanley.

Branson’s Virgin Group — which includes phone service, airlines, soft drinks and other ventures — sold off its music label “to rationalize their portfolio of other content-led businesses.” That has been interpreted as meaning Virgin intends to launch a Virgin-branded music television station.

In 2002, Morgan Stanley acquired a 47.5% equity stake in the label by converting $128 million in bonds. It has now upped its stake to 95%.

In the U.K., Virgin Group recently struck a deal with cable TV operator NTL to offer a one-stop Virgin shop for cable television, telecom services and broadband.

Tony Harlow is expected to remain head of V2 in the U.K., as Morgan Stanley will not have any active participation in the label’s management.

In the U.K., V2’s roster includes Paul Weller, Stereophonics, Bloc Party and Wolfmother. Six months ago, Sheridan Square Entertainment acquired V2 North America. Label distributes recordings by the White Stripes and Jack White’s new band, the Raconteurs, plus Ray Davies, Josh Ritter and others.

V2 marked Branson’s return to the record business in 1996, four years after he sold his Virgin Records imprint for about $900 million to EMI. The label struggled, especially in the U.S., until it had a hit with Moby’s “Play” in 1999.

More Scene

  • 'Cobra Kai' premiere

    ‘Cobra Kai’: Why Ralph Macchio Revisited 'Karate Kid' Character After 30 Years

    Richard Branson is out of the music business, selling all but 5% of his interest in the label V2 to Morgan Stanley. Branson’s Virgin Group — which includes phone service, airlines, soft drinks and other ventures — sold off its music label “to rationalize their portfolio of other content-led businesses.” That has been interpreted as […]

  • Jennifer LopezTime 100 Gala - Red

    Time 100 Gala: J. Lo 'Feels Naked,' Shawn Mendes Performs, Kesha Hugs Parkland Survivors

    Richard Branson is out of the music business, selling all but 5% of his interest in the label V2 to Morgan Stanley. Branson’s Virgin Group — which includes phone service, airlines, soft drinks and other ventures — sold off its music label “to rationalize their portfolio of other content-led businesses.” That has been interpreted as […]

  • Robert Downey Jr'Avengers: Infinity War' film

    'Avengers: Infinity War' Premiere Draws Largest Contingent of Marvel Superheroes

    Richard Branson is out of the music business, selling all but 5% of his interest in the label V2 to Morgan Stanley. Branson’s Virgin Group — which includes phone service, airlines, soft drinks and other ventures — sold off its music label “to rationalize their portfolio of other content-led businesses.” That has been interpreted as […]

  • 'The Week Of' film premiere

    'The Week Of' Director Talks Reuniting With Adam Sandler After 'SNL'

    Richard Branson is out of the music business, selling all but 5% of his interest in the label V2 to Morgan Stanley. Branson’s Virgin Group — which includes phone service, airlines, soft drinks and other ventures — sold off its music label “to rationalize their portfolio of other content-led businesses.” That has been interpreted as […]

  • Beautycon Festival

    Laverne Cox, Paris Hilton Promote Self-Love at Beautycon NYC

    Richard Branson is out of the music business, selling all but 5% of his interest in the label V2 to Morgan Stanley. Branson’s Virgin Group — which includes phone service, airlines, soft drinks and other ventures — sold off its music label “to rationalize their portfolio of other content-led businesses.” That has been interpreted as […]

  • Duke and Duchess of Cambridge

    The Duchess of Cambridge Gives Birth to Baby Boy

    Richard Branson is out of the music business, selling all but 5% of his interest in the label V2 to Morgan Stanley. Branson’s Virgin Group — which includes phone service, airlines, soft drinks and other ventures — sold off its music label “to rationalize their portfolio of other content-led businesses.” That has been interpreted as […]

  • J.K. Rowling on the Future of

    J.K. Rowling on the Future of Harry Potter Stories on Stage

    Richard Branson is out of the music business, selling all but 5% of his interest in the label V2 to Morgan Stanley. Branson’s Virgin Group — which includes phone service, airlines, soft drinks and other ventures — sold off its music label “to rationalize their portfolio of other content-led businesses.” That has been interpreted as […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content