Virgin has bought the remaining 50 per cent share in Virgin Money Group, paying £90m for the joint venture it owned with HHG, the company comprising AMP's former UK businesses.
HHG will get £50m now plus instalments of £20m over two years for Virgin Money which offers stakeholder pensions, Isas, personal loans, savings accounts and credit cards.
AMP indicated its intention to sell the firm in the review of its UK operations in December 2002. HHG consists of Henderson Global Investors, Pearl, NPI, National Provident Life, London Life and IFA Towry Law.
Virgin Group now holds 100 per cent of the company which sold off its Virgin One mortgage arm – now The One Account – to Royal Bank of Scotland in July 2001.
Virgin Group chairman Richard Branson says: “This deal signals an exciting new chapter in Virgin Money's development. Financial services will be, along with travel, mobile telephones and entertainment, one of the four key pillars of our plan to secure Virgin's position as the world's leading diversified consumer brand.”
Virgin Money chief executive Paul Pester says: “This is the ultimate vote of confidence in our people. As a profitable business with a proven business model and over a million customers, we have the opportunity to take the business to a whole new level.”