Bjorgolfur Thor completes debt deal, wants to keep house

Icelandic businessman Bjorgolfur Thor Bjorgolfsson laid huge emphasis on keeping ownership of his Reykjavik house on Frikirkjuvegur when refinancing ISK 1,200 billion of debt recently. The house was build by his great grandfather a century ago.

Bjorgolfur Thor’s sizeable debts have been added to by some joint debt transferred from his father, Bjorgolfur Gudmundsson when he was declared bankrupt. Bjorgolfur Thor says that none of his own debts have been or will be written off.

Bjorgolfsson and his investment company Novator have been undergoing extensive debt refinancing and partial pay offs recently – among others to Deutsche Bank, Barclays and the resolution committees of Glitnir, Landsbanki, Straumur and Kaupthing. The debt amounts to ISK 1,200 billion (USD 9.79 billion), reports – the majority of which connected to Actavis, which announced its successful refinancing yesterday.

The refinancing deal sees Bjorgolfur Thor remain a shareholder in Actavis, the Polish telecommunications company Play, CCP and Verne Holding. But all his personal assets are included in the deal, according to a statement. The returns on his assets and their value if and when sold, will go towards debt payment.

The one point of conflict is over the house at Frikirkjuvegur which has personal significance to the businessman, as it was build by his great grandfather, Thor Jensen. The house is part of the total asset package; but Bjorgolfur Thor is desperate to keep it.

Bjorgolfur Gudmundsson, Bjorgolfur Thor’s father, was declared bankrupt last summer and ISK 11 billion of his debt was transferred to his son over their joint company, Samson Holdings. The pair were personally responsible for ISK 40 billion of that company’s debt.

A statement said that Bjorgolfur Thor has long been fighting hard against personal bankruptcy and the new deal with key creditors now means it will be possible to build up and sell assets at a fair price to pay off debts. He believes bankruptcy to be a poor option for himself and for his creditors.

Photo of Frikirkjuvegur 11:

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