Richard Branson has launched, quit and sold dozens of businesses since he started selling records by mail order in 1970.
Here are just a few of his more high-profile deals.
Branson launched the label in 1972 and signed Mike Oldfield and the Sex Pistols to make his name. He sold it to Thorn EMI in 1992 for a reported $1bn (or just over £560m at 1992 exchange rates).
In need of cash, Virgin Group sold 49% of its transatlantic airline to Singapore Airlines in 1999 for £600m. Singapore sold the stake to Delta of the US for a knock-down $360m (£224m) in 2012.
Branson opened his first record shop on London’s Oxford Street in 1971. He sold his remaining 125 stores to a management group in 2007 for an undisclosed sum, reportedly £1. Renamed Zavvi, the business entered administration the following year.
Branson and his investment partners have paid the government about £1bn for the branches and other assets of Northern Rock. Branson cashed in about £85m of shares when the company floated in 2014, but his remaining 35% stake is worth more than £500m.
South African billionaire Christo Wiese paid £682m in 2015 for the fitness chain, launched by Branson in 1999 and co-owned with a private equity firm. Branson banked £230m from the sale and kept a 20% stake.
Branson continues to co-own the rail operator, which has run the West Coast franchise since 1999, with Stagecoach. His company’s cumulative dividends are forecast to pass £300m by 2017.
Chris Evans bought the rock music station from Virgin in 1997 for £85m. Evans sold his Ginger Media operation to Scottish Media Group (SMG) three years later and in 2008 SMG sold Virgin Radio for £53m.
This article was written by Sean Farrell, for theguardian.com on Monday 4th April 2016 18.35 Europe/Londonguardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010