In an article in yesterday’s Sunday Times, the paper says that Jón Ásgeir Jóhannesson, CEO of Baugur, who is facing charges of fraud and embezzlement, “will not make any big-name bids until his name has been cleared.”
Jón Ásgeir Jóhannesson, is quoted saying, “High-profile public-to-privates will be difficult over the next six months while we clean this up.”
Jón Ásgeir contradicts Hreinn Loftsson, chairman of Baugur, who said in an interview in the Saturday edition of the Morgunbladid, “It won’t be long until we announce interesting investments abroad.” He declined to elaborate.
The Times reported that Jón Ásgeir “also moved to calm fears about the financial health of his highly leveraged empire.” Jón Ásgeir says, “We have the full support of our main banks. They have written us letters. There is no issue there. I have the full support of the board.”
He added, “We have done 45 deals since 1998. There have been no issues. We have honoured all our contracts and obligations and we will continue to do so.”
Jón Ásgeir described the last week as the worst of his business life. “It has been hell,” he said.
According to the Times, Jón Ásgeir “expects to go on trial in October, with a verdict due at the end of the year.”