Icelandic investors battle for Skandia

Two rival Icelandic consortiums have taken major steps to seize control of Skandia.

Icelandic dollar-millionaire Björgólfur Thor Björgólfsson has been snapping up shares in Skandia over the last few months. Björgólfsson’s consortium, which includes Icelandic investment banks Burdarás and Landsbanki according to DI, now controls 3% of the comapny – worth over a billion kronor – making it one of the biggest shareholders.

With Iceland’s largest bank Kaupthing yesterday signalling that they now own 2.5% in Skandia, it looks like Kaupthing and Björgólfsson’s consortium are set to struggle for control of Skandia.

Burdarás and Kaupthing seem to be in the process of establishing themselves as major European players in the financial sector. Both have recently taken over banks and companies in Sweden, Denmark and the UK.

Last summer the two fought to buy Danish bank FIH from Föreningssparbanken, with Kaupthing eventually emerging as the winner.

Whatever happens at Skandia, the likely winners of a battle between the Icelandic rivals would be Skandia’s other shareholders.

It is expected that the latest developments will lead to changes on Skandia’s Board.

Sources: Svenska Dagbladet, Dagens Industri