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October 12, 2009

ICELAND: Bakkavor denies stake sale wrongdoing

The majority owners of Bakkavor have denied any wrongdoing in the acquisition of a controlling stake in the Icelandic food group.

The majority owners of Bakkavor have denied any wrongdoing in the acquisition of a controlling stake in the Icelandic food group.

A spokesperson for Lydur and Agust Gudmundsson, Bakkavor’s controlling shareholders, insisted that the deal – which was struck during the height of Iceland’s banking crisis – had been reached fairly.

“As far as the brothers are concerned, the agreement followed everything by the letter,” the spokesperson told just-food.

However, according to a report in UK newspaper The Daily Telegraph, creditors of the Gudmundsson’s heavily-indebted investment vehicle Exista have suggested that the sale price undervalued the food group, which generates revenues of GBP1.6bn (US$2.53bn) and owns 63 factories in 10 countries.

The report claims that Iceland’s financial regulator, FME, is currently investigating the transaction and the role played by Deloitte, which acted as an advisor for the deal.

However, a spokesperson for FME told just-food: “The legal framework, according to which FME operates, does not allow it to comment on whether specific cases are under examination or what individuals or companies are involved.”

Officials at Deloitte were unavailable to comment at time of press.

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