Owners Refuse to Sell Icelandair to Foreign Parties Skip to content

Owners Refuse to Sell Icelandair to Foreign Parties

When the crisis hit the Icelandic economy last fall, some foreign investors from Europe and the United States expressed interest in purchasing the shares of the investment companies Máttur and Naust in Icelandair Group, but they refused to sell.

“I wasn’t interested in selling the company to foreigners. It serves an important role in transport with overseas countries and you could say that it’s part of the country’s independence,” explained Einar Sveinsson, one of the owners of Máttur and Naust, to Fréttabladid.

However, the foreign investors were not so interested that they had made offers to the investment companies’ shares in Icelandair Group.

The state-run Íslandsbanki took over the 39 percent combined stake held by Máttur and Naust in Icelandair Group on Monday, increasing its stake in the company to 47 percent.

The value of the two companies’ shares in Icelandair Group plummeted from ISK 10.5 billion (USD 82 million, EUR 60 million) at the beginning of 2008 to ISK 5 billion (USD 39 million, EUR 29 million) at the end of the year. On Monday it had dropped down to ISK 1.7 billion (USD 13 million, EUR 10 million).

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