By Daniel Hunter

Virgin Active is set to be bought by South African investment firm Brait for $1 billion (£673m).

Brait will take 80% of the company, with Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Group and CVC Capital Partners will hold the remaining 20%.

The South African firm has a primary listing on a stock market in Luxembourg with a secondary listing in Johannesburg. It also has a 20% stake in Iceland Foods in the UK.

"Virgin Active is a business that we are proud to have been associated with from the very beginning, over 15 years ago," said Sir Richard.

"We are delighted that we will continue to play a part in this alongside Brait, another long-term investor with a strong track record in growing businesses."

Brait's chief executive, John Gnodde, said that "Virgin Active's successful track record, high cash generation and exciting growth prospects in both emerging and developed markets make this an attractive opportunity" for the company and its shareholders."