Baugur tycoon faces $2bn lawsuit from Glitnir team

JÓN Ásgeir Jóhannesson, the Icelandic retail tycoon who once held stakes in House of Fraser and Hamleys, has been served with a $2bn (£1.3bn) lawsuit by the liquidators of failed bank Glitnir.

Jóhannesson, who owned swathes of the UK high street through his now-collapsed firm Baugur, is accused of conspiring with Glitnir’s chief executive and chairman to rob the bank “from the inside”.

The men are accused of using a series of multi-million dollar loans from Glitnir to prop up Jóhannesson’s struggling companies. The loans were never repaid, Glitnir’s lawyers claim. Also accused is PricewaterhouseCoopers, the bank’s auditors, whom the liquidators claim must have known about the issue.

PwC said it stood by its assessments of the bank’s finances at the time.

Jóhannesson’s shopping empire imploded in 2008 as Iceland’s banking system unravelled.