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Virgin Sells Stake In V2

LONDON (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — Richard Branson’s entertainment giant Virgin has sold its share of the V2 music label to investment firm Morgan Stanley as it plans for a business future that could include the launch of a Virgin-branded music television station.

Virgin launched V2 in 1996 as Branson’s return to the music industry after his sale of Virgin Records in 1992.

The sale of the new label follows Virgin Group’s deal with the cable television operator NTL which will soon offer customers a one-stop shop for cable television, fixed and mobile telecoms services and broadband internet under the Virgin brand in the UK.

The company would not comment on its plans to The Independent, but launching a music television station seems like a likely move for the Virgin brand.

Owning the V2 label would create a conflict of interest for Virgin if it was to take on the likes of MTV.

Morgan Stanley now holds a 95 percent stake of V2 after it bought a 47.5 percent stake of the label in 2002. The company will remain a passive investor in the company, allowing V2’s management to continue to run the business.

Branson will keep a personal 5 percent stake in the company, maintaining his interest in the music sector. –by CelebrityAccess Staff Writers