The Toyota dealership in Iceland will be sold to repay the vast debts held by its owner, Magnús Kristinsson, at Landsbanki. The bank’s resolution committee is also contemplating selling other companies in Kristinsson’s ownership.
Toyota Landcruiser 200. Photo by Páll Stefánsson.
Kristinsson is the owner of some holding companies in Iceland, including Bergey, which owns the Toyota dealership. Kristinsson is personally liable for many of his companies, RÚV reports.
Through his holding companies, Kristinsson is also in ownership of a fishing company in the Westman Islands, the Hertz car rental in Iceland and Domino’s Pizza. These companies may also be sold to cover his debts.
It hasn’t been revealed exactly how high Kristinsson’s debts to Landsbanki are, but, according to RÚV’s sources, it’s a question of tens of billions of ISK.
None of Toyota’s employees have been laid off. It will probably take a few weeks or months until new owners take over the dealership.
Kristinsson would not be interviewed by RÚV but released a statement saying that under encouragement from Landsbanki’s executives, he took high loans to prevent the bankruptcy of the investment company Gnúpur in 2007. At the same time, Kristinsson became a large shareholder in the bank.
With the collapse of the Icelandic banking system and other companies, extensive assets disappeared in one night while debts grew with the depreciation of the ISK, Kristinsson explained. Therefore the sale of his assets cannot be avoided.