MBO at Virgin Vie at Home

The management team of cosmetics and skincare marketer Virgin Vie
at Home, led by founding directors Ros Simmons and Ratan Daryani,
has acquired the business from Virgin Group. The sale follows
Virgin Group’s decision to focus on its core travel,
telecommunications, media, financial services, and health and
wellness businesses.

Virgin Vie has more than 10,000 party planning agents as well as
an ecommerce site and 15 bricks-and-mortar stores across the UK.
Management will focus on the party business and migrate the
company, said chief executive Simmons, to a “comprehensive
direct-to-consumer model involving ecommerce and direct
mail”. To that end, Virgin Vie will close its stores in an
effort to return to profitability; according to published reports
it lost £3.4 million in the year to March 2008 on £48.5
million in sales.

Simmons and Daryani have also identified potential overseas
markets to expand into, through established partners, via joint
ventures, or by setting up international subsidiaries. The first
location earmarked is the US, a spokesperson said, as it
“is one of the major direct sales markets”.


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