Real Estate Group Grabs North American Virgin Megastores

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A major real estate group has now purchased the North American chain of Virgin Megastores, according to information disclosed Monday.

The deal involves the Virgin Entertainment Group and Related Companies, a group based in Manhattan.  The acquisition covers a total of eleven outlets, and is scheduled to close next month.  Discussing the play, Virgin Group chairman Richard Branson pointed to a shifting portfolio.  “With most of our global retail operations now franchised, Virgin Group will continue to focus on being a global leader in transportation and renewable energy, with interests in financial services, communications and media, health, and leisure,” the billionaire entrepreneur explained.

The US-based Virgin chain has experienced meaningful sales increases over the past year, according to information recently supplied by the company.  Some of that is coming from music, though DVDs, games, fashion and electronics are producing stronger gains.  Meanwhile, the profit picture remains a bit murky, though Virgin controls incredibly attractive locations – regardless of what is being sold.  Deal valuations were not disclosed, and Related did not discuss post-acquisition plans.  The real estate group also owns Equinox Fitness Clubs, as well as a number of international resorts, casinos and luxury hotels.

Story by news analyst Alexandra Osorio.