Icelandic bank Landsbanki is “considering options” for its 14% stake in UK supermarket group Iceland, which fell under the bank’s control when it seized the assets of investment firm Baugur.

Baugur went into administration last month, after its credit lines dried up following the nationalisation of Iceland’s major banks in October. The company owed around GBP1bn (US$1.45bn) to Icelandic bank Landsbanki.

A spokesperson for Landsbanki told just-food today (26 February) that the group was considering a number of options for Baugur’s former investments. However, the spokesperson added that the bank was not planning a sale of the Iceland stake “at the present time”.

Baugur had a number of investments in the UK high street – including stakes in Hamleys and House of Fraser – but it is believed that a sale of Iceland shares will generate the most interest.

“Iceland is the best part of the empire. Given its sales figures it is likely to attract a lot of interest, not just from private equity but also from trade buyers,” Pali International analyst Nick Bubb told just-food after Baugur’s assets were seized.

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According to the latest TNS Worldpanel grocery market share figures, Iceland increased its sales in the 12 weeks ending 25 January by 14% thanks to a strong Christmas performance.