Virgin Voyages has announced it has closed on a $550 million capital raise to accelerate its growth plans. The funding round was led by funds managed by the Private Equity Group of Ares Management (“Ares”), a leading global alternative investment manager, and also includes additional capital from existing investors including Virgin Group and Bain Capital. The new funding raise will enable Virgin Voyages to strengthen its financial position while supporting the brand’s rapid expansion into international markets, with a relentless focus on creating an outstanding and innovative customer experience.
As Virgin Voyages looks ahead to its next phase of growth, the company further announced that founding Chief Executive Officer, Tom McAlpin, is retiring as CEO and transitioning to the role of Chairman of the Board of Directors. He will continue to support the brand and team at an executive and industry level. Nirmal Saverimuttu, who currently serves as President and Chief Experience Officer, has been appointed the new Chief Executive Officer.
“It is hard to express just how proud I am of all that the Virgin Voyages Crew has created and the strong endorsement we are receiving from Ares. We have won numerous industry awards and received many five-star reviews because of our passion for this brand,” said McAlpin. “While I will miss the day-to-day, I believe it is the right time to step aside as CEO. Nirmal is a great friend and experienced leader who lives and breathes the Virgin Voyages culture. I know he will help take this amazing brand and Crew to new heights, and I look forward to continuing to support the leadership team as Chairman.”
Saverimuttu was a founding leader of Virgin Voyages and joined the business as Chief Commercial Officer in 2014 from the Virgin Group after successfully closing the first investment round. In early 2021, he took on the expanded role of President and Chief Experience Officer.
“I want to send our deepest thanks, on behalf of all our crew and the Board, to Tom for his leadership and passion for the business. We are so grateful for all he has done and are thrilled to continue to partner with him as our Chairman,” said Saverimuttu. “Virgin Voyages is a beloved brand because of our crew’s dedication and passion for delivering epic experiences for our guests. I am looking forward to working with the Ares team and our existing investors to deliver on our growth and expansion plans as we look ahead to our very bright future.”
Virgin Voyages officially launched in August 2021 and currently operates three ships, servicing the Caribbean, the Mediterranean, and by the end of the year, Australia and New Zealand.