Virgin Records Ltd. is a British record label founded by entrepreneurs Richard Branson, Simon Draper, Nik Powell, and musician Tom Newman in 1972. After its acquisition by Universal Music Group through its purchase of EMI in 2012, UMG absorbed Virgin's British operations to create Virgin EMI Records in March 2013.
Today, the operations of Virgin Records America, Inc., the company's North American operations founded in 1986, are still active and headquartered in Hollywood, California, and have operated exclusively under the Capitol Music Group imprint, also owned by UMG, since 2007. The US operations have also taken on the name Virgin Records.
A minor number of artists remain on Virgin Records America's roster, which is currently mostly occupied with European artists. Along with EMI Classics, it too was acquired by Universal in 2012 as part of the takeover of the EMI Group. But the terms of the European Commission's approval of the takeover required divestment of the two classical labels. Accordingly both were sold in February the following year to Warner Music Group, and this transaction was approved by the European Union that May. Warner placed the Virgin Classics artist roster and catalogue in its Erato Records division, and the “Virgin Classics” name, along with “EMI Classics,” disappeared.