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Virgin Vie Changes Hands

Virgin’s Virgin Vie at Home has a new abode.

LONDON — Virgin’s Virgin Vie at Home has a new abode.

This story first appeared in the February 3, 2009 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

The direct-selling business, which markets makeup, skin care and bath and body products under the Vie label, has changed hands as part of a management buyout. The deal reportedly weighed in at between 20 million pounds and 30 million pounds, or $29.7 million and $44.5 million at current exchange.

“The company was out of kilter with Virgin’s long-term strategy,” said Ros Simmons, Virgin Vie’s managing director, who, with chairman Ratan Daryani, lead the acquisition. Simmons declined to comment on financial aspects of the deal, which was finalized in recent weeks. Virgin Vie at Home will focus on direct selling in the future, Simmons said.

The firm, which generates annual turnover of 48 million pounds, or $71.3 million, has 13 stores in the U.K. Its direct-selling business boasts a network of 10,000 consultants in the U.K. and Ireland.

As well as focusing on its core direct-sales business, Simmons said the firm will look to expand internationally and may broaden its product offer to include beauty-related items such as nutritional supplements.