FL Groups sells its shares in Icelandair Group Skip to content

FL Groups sells its shares in Icelandair Group

After reaching an agreement with FL Group last Tuesday, Glitnir Bank undertook the sale of 51 per cent of shares in Icelandair Group, which will cease to be part of FL Group’s consolidated accounts.

Jon Karl Olafsson, CEO of Icelandair Group, declared in a written statement released last Tuesday: “The management of Icelandair Group supports the plan of listing the company on the Icelandic Stock Exchange. The aim is to bring a broad group of institutional and private investors to the company and strengthen the special bond the company has with the general public.”

Glitnir announced in a press release that the enterprise value of Icelandair Group is ISK 43 billion (EUR 480 million, USD 605 million) and that FL Group’s estimated profit from the sale is ISK 26.0 billion (EUR 290 million, USD 365 million).

According to Morgunbladid, the main buyers were Finnur Ingólfsson, former president of insurance company VÍS, Thórólfur Gíslason, chairman of insurance company Samvinnutryggingar, and Helgi S. Gudmundsson, chairman of the Central Bank’s (Sedlabankinn) board of directors.

Together they will own a 30 per cent share in Icelandair Group. The remaining 11 per cent go to Bjarni Benediktsson, who is in charge of an investment company founded by the owners of oil company Olíufélagid.

RÚV reported that Fridrik Mar Baldursson, professor of economics at the University of Iceland, has criticized Gudmundsson becoming a shareholder in Icelandair Group. Baldursson describes the Central Bank’s chairman’s part in the deal as unfortunate as the government-run Central Bank has considerable influence on the Icelandic financial market and might now lose transparency and credibility.

Today, Gunnarsson told RÚV that he has not intended to personally invest in Icelandair Group, but is only involved in the case through his chairmanship of insurance company Samvinnutryggingar. Gunnarsson does not feel that his involvement in the deal will come into conflict with his work at the Central Bank.

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