Virgin Active warms up to Johannesburg IPO

Weston Super Mare © Virgin Active

Virgin Active has hired South Africa-based Standard Bank Group Ltd to list the British health and fitness chain on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, which may value the company at about 1.5 billion pounds ($2.30 billion), Sky News reported.

Virgin Active, jointly owned by Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Group and CVC Capital Partners, has also hired Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Goldman Sachs Group, Morgan Stanley and UBS to work on the planned initial public offering, Sky News said. (

Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley and Standard Bank are expected to take the senior-most roles in arranging the floatation, the website said.

If the IPO goes through, this will be the third successful venture, partly owned by Sir Branson’s Virgin Group, to have sold shares publicly within a matter of months.

Last year, Virgin America and Virgin Money listed on the Nasdaq stock exchange and London stock exchange respectively, where the domestic low-cost airliner was valued at $1.35 billion, while the British bank netted 140 million pounds ($214.70 million) for its co-owners Sir Branson and Wilbur Ross, a U.S. financier.

Virgin Group, Virgin Active and CVC Capital could not immediately be reached for comments outside regular business hours. ($1 = 0.6521 pound)

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