LONDON (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — British billionaire Sir Richard Branson has announced that he has sold his UK & Irish chain of record shops, Virgin Megastores to the Zavvi Entertainment Group the London Times reported.
Zavvi, a management buyout vehicle operating on behalf of several of the troubled chains managers, Simon Douglas, Virgin Megastore's managing director and its head of finance Steve Peckham, will continue to operate the 130 store chain under its current name until January when they will switch to the Zavvi brand.
By all accounts, Sir Richard was keen to dump the chain, which was hemorrhaging money to the tune of $160 million dollars in the fiscal year ending March 2006, the last year reported.
Despite the financial woes afflicting the chain, the new owners are upbeat about their prospects "We believe Zavvi is well-placed to thrive in the challenging market place." Simon Douglas told the Times.
Virgin had reportedly been in merger talks with two of its rivals, Fopp and HMV last year, it is uncertain how the sale will affect any ongoing merger considerations. – CelebrityAccess Staff Writers