Fons Liquidator Demands ISK Billions in Repayment Skip to content

Fons Liquidator Demands ISK Billions in Repayment

Óskar Sigurdsson, the liquidator of the investment company Fons, announced to claimants yesterday that he has filed charges against the company’s former owners, and related parties, demanding ISK 9 billion (USD 70 million, EUR 50 million) in repayment to its bankruptcy estate.

Fons, which was declared bankrupt in April 2009, was owned by Icelandic businessmen Pálmi Haraldsson and Jóhannes Kristinsson. Claimants to Fons’s bankruptcy estate are Icelandic and foreign banks, the largest being Glitnir. The claims amount to more than ISK 30 billion (USD 234 million, EUR 167 million), RÚV reports.

Sigurdsson has filed charges in 13 cases, which include unfounded invoices, write-off of debts, payments to a company owned by Haraldsson in Tortola and the sale of paintings.

Former CEO of Baugur Group Jón Ásgeir Jóhannesson is asked to repay ISK 1 billion (USD 7.8 million, EUR 5.6 million), which was transferred to his personal account on July 21, 2008, as a gift/loan.

According to RÚV’s sources, the payment was turned over 12 times in Fons’ books, allegedly with the purpose of hiding it.

Fengur, Haraldsson’s holding company, is asked to repay ISK 3.5 billion (USD 27 million, EUR 19.5 million), which was used for the acquisition of the British airline Astraeus.

Fengur bought the airline from Fons shortly before it went bankrupt on February 18, 2009. The amount is the difference between the purchasing price and an estimate of the airline’s real value the day it was sold.

Matthews Holding, a company in Luxembourg owned directly and indirectly by Harladsson and Kristinsson, is asked to repay ISK 4.2 billion (USD 33 million, EUR 23 million).

The company owned Fons in the autumn of 2007 and paid itself dividends for 2006. The dividend payment seems to have come from a loan granted by Landsbanki.

Haraldsson described the liquidator’s demands as “sad” in an interview with Morgunbladid. “The way I see it the bankruptcy estate will never win in the cases against me,” he said.

“Let’s not forget that there were close to five billion in Fons’s bankruptcy estate so there is a lot for the liquidator to gain, to eat the meat that is left on the bones,” Haraldsson added.

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