Richard Branson may have missed his chance to buy back Virgin Records following Universal’s £1.2bn acquisition of EMI Music, but the tycoon still hopes to have a hand in the label’s restoration.
Speaking in an interview with the Financial Times, the multi-venturing business tycoon said that he still hopes to work with Universal to “reinvigorate” the label that had been “left to languish”.
His comments come despite a Virgin-signed artist's album - Emeli Sande's Our Version Of Events - being the top-selling LP in the UK this year.
It won’t be Branson’s only step back into music, with the announcement of four Rolling Stones anniversary gigs in November (including two at the O2), Virgin has also announced a new live promotion operation with Dainty Group – Virgin Live.
Branson sold Virgin Records to Thorn EMI in 1992 for a reported US$1 billion (£560 million) and has been vocal about his perceived ‘mismanagement’ of the label in recent years.
Universal held on to Virgin Records following the EMI deal after all, along with Capitol Records. UMG boss Lucian Grainge expects the urban and rock offerings from both labels to receive a boost under his leadership.
Photo credit: David Shankbone