Richard Branson wants to buy back Virgin Records
British business tycoon Richard Branson has expressed interest in buying back Virgin Records if European antitrust regulators force Universal Music to offload the label in order to take over EMI.
The Guardian reports that Branson, who founded the company in 1970 at age 20, is considering teaming up with French entrepreneur Patrick Zelnik to bid on the label, which has released albums by The Sex Pistols, The Rolling Stones and The Spice Girls.
"Richard Branson and Virgin have been assessing how to get back into recorded music business for many years," a spokesman for Virgin Group told the newspaper. "The potential disposal of Virgin Records by Universal Music offers a wonderful opportunity to recreate a dynamic independent label in the market."
Zelnik, who launched Virgin Records in France, is also mulling over the bid but cautioned that no formal approach to Universal has been made.
"It is a reality that Branson is interested in supporting a bid by my company, we have spoken about this, this is true," he said, adding: "It is early, Richard is never going to invest, same for me, until there is a real business plan."
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