Founded by English entrepreneur Richard Branson alongside Simon Draper, Nik Powell and Tom Newman.
Principal activities of the company and numerous subsidiaries included - record production, manufacturing, licensing, sound recording and exploitation of copyrights.
The company intially operated under the control of Virgin Records (Holdings) Ltd., later under renamed company Virgin Holdings Ltd., due to the Virgin Group branching out internationally into other market sectors the conglomerate Virgin Group Ltd. (later plc) is established in 1983, which becomes the immediate (ultimate) parent. Virgin Group Plc operated as 3 principal divisions: Music, Communications & Retail, in 1989 the group is demerged with the music related companies (which included Virgin Records Ltd. & its worldwide subsidiaries) being transfered to a newly incorporated (holding) company Glowtrack Ltd., in 1990 this holding company is renamed Virgin Music Group Ltd.
Principal subsidiaries of Virgin Records Ltd. as of 31st June 1991: UK Associated Virgin Labels Ltd., Charisma Records Ltd., Virgin EG Records Ltd. Circa Music Ltd., Circa Records Ltd., Siren Records Ltd., Ten Records Ltd., Virgin Classics Limited, Virgin Music (Publishers) Ltd., 10 Music Ltd., Virgin Studios Ltd - (The Manor), Virgin Agency Ltd. (which was the parent of Clouseau Musique S.A. as of 1989), Virgin Overseas Ltd. (holding company for worldwide subsidiaries) - Australia - Virgin Australia Pty. Ltd., Virgin Australia Music Pty. Ltd., Belgium - Virgin Belgium SA, Virgin Belgium Publishing SA Netherlands - Virgin Benelux B.V., Virgin Benelux Publishing B.V., Virgin Holdings BV Canada -Virgin Records Canada Inc., Virgin Video Canada Inc. Denmark - Virgin Records Denmark ApS Italy - Virgin Dischi S.R.L., Spain - Virgin España, S.A. Ediciones Musicales Virgin SA France - Virgin France S.A., Editions Virgin Musique SA, Delabel SA, Greece - Δίσκοι Virgin ΕΠΕ, Virgin Music EPE Japan - Virgin Japan Ltd New Zealand - Virgin Records NZ Ltd. Norway Virgin Records Norway AS Sweden - Virgin Scandinavia AB, Virgin Music AB Germany - Virgin Schallplatten GmbH, Song Edition Virgin Schallplatten GmbH CokG USA - Virgin Records America, Inc., Virgin Music America, Inc., Virgin Records, Inc., Cardiac Records, Inc., Caroline Records, Inc., Caroline Records, Calif. Inc., Charisma Records America, Inc., Virgin Music, Inc., Virgin Songs, Inc. Hong Kong - Virgin Records (HK) Ltd., Virgin Music Publishers (Hong Kong) Ltd.
On the 1st June 1992, Virgin Records Group Ltd. was sold by Richard Branson to Thorn Emi Plc. which would later become EMI Group Plc in 1996, since 2012 the company has been ultimately owned by Vivendi S.A. and forms part of the Universal Music Group, as of 2017 Virgin Records Ltd. remains an immediate subsidiary of Virgin Music Group (unlimited) - (Formerly legally known as Virgin Music Group Ltd.), which is subsequently a wholly owned subsidiary of EMI Group Ltd. (formerly known as EMI Group Plc) and controlled by that company.
On 25th April 2017 Bolloré Group became the ultimate parent.
The Virgin imprint (trademark) and other associated Virgin brands used by Virgin Records Ltd., its subsidiaries or affiliates have always remained under the direct control of Richard Branson through his IP holding company Virgin Enterprises Ltd., which licenses the rights to use these trademarks. (This company did not form part of the sale to Thorn EMI plc.)
Also appears as - Virgin Records Ltd / Virgin Records Limited / Virgin Rec Ltd