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Virgin Group Said to Seek $509 Million in Financing

July 25 (Bloomberg) -- Virgin Group Ltd., controlled by billionaire Richard Branson, has asked banks to pitch to offer about 300 million pounds ($509 million) in financing as it prepares to take some of its branded companies public, said two people with knowledge of the matter.

The group wants to raise 150 million pounds from an equity financing and the remainder via a collateral loan, secured against stakes in companies that could join the stock market in the next year, the people said, asking not to be named as the details aren’t public. No final decision has been taken, they said.

Virgin plans to hold initial public offerings for businesses including gym chain Virgin Active Ltd. and lender Virgin Money Plc, the people said. Companies in the U.K. are poised to increase borrowing to finance growth and acquisitions this year as a strengthening economy encourages executives to take more risks, Deloitte LLP said in April.

A spokeswoman for Virgin wasn’t available to comment.

Virgin employs over 50,000 people in more than 50 countries, according to its website. The group reported revenue from its brands of 15 billion pounds in 2012.

To contact the reporters on this story: Ruth David in London at rdavid9@bloomberg.net; Kiel Porter in London at kporter17@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Aaron Kirchfeld at akirchfeld@bloomberg.net; Edward Evans at eevans3@bloomberg.net Elizabeth Fournier

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