GROCERY giant Iceland is a potential target for a powerful consortium of Middle Eastern businessmen who are interested in snapping up the assets of failed Icelandic banks Landsbanki and Glitnir.
The two banks own 76 per cent of the food chain, which could become the target of a bidding war. The firm’s management already have a 24 per cent stake in the company and are understood to have had a £1bn approach for the remainder knocked back earlier this year.
A battle between founding chairman Malcolm Walker and the gulf investors, represented by Global Banking Corporation of Bahrain, could push the value of the firm as high as £1.5bn.
Iceland reported a 19 per cent jump in profits last year. However, the firm has had a checkered recent history, with Icelandic conglomerate Baugur acquiring its parent company Big Food Group for £326m before collapsing, handing control of the chain to its banks’ administrators.