Representatives of a large investment group wishing to buy Iceland’s Hagar retail business say they have been locked out, claiming to be disappointed on behalf of the man on the street.
Brynjar Nielsson is a lawyer working for Thjodarhagur, the group hoping to put in an offer for Hagar, the Icelandic wing of the Baugur owners’ former empire. Nielsson said that after meeting with the leaders of Arion Bank yesterday, he got the clear answer that Hagar is not for sale. Thjodarhagur has the promised financial backing of over 3,000 investors, including members of the public offering up as little as ISK 5,000 (USD 40).
Hagar runs iconic shops in Iceland, including Bonus, Hagkaup, Debenhams and 10-11. Arion Bank now holds a 40 percent stake in the company, while other owners including Jon Asgeir Johannesson and family continue their search for more funds to prevent the bank taking over the remaining 60 percent.
Stod 2 News reported meanwhile, that British businessman Tom Hunter is among those interested in providing Hagar with the necessary additional capital. The deal would mean Hunter, the current owners and other investors would hold 60 percent in the company while Arion would maintain its recently-acquired 40 percent stake.