Samherji ownership passes to next generation

Published on
May 18, 2020

Samherji’s biggest shareholders – Helga Steinunn Guðmundsdóttir, Thorsteinn Már Baldvinsson, Kristján Vilhelmsson, and Kolbrún Ingólfsdóttir – have transferred their stakes in the business to their children, the Icelandic seafood company has confirmed.

Combined, the four Icelanders owned 86.5 percent of the shares in Samherji. They will control a 2 percent stake in the company after the changes are made.

Following the share transfer, Samherji’s largest shareholders will be Baldvin Thorsteinsson and Katla Thorsteinsdóttir, who will hold a combined 43 percent stake; and Dagný Linda Kristjánsdóttir, Halldór Örn Kristjánsson, Kristján Bjarni Kristjánsson, and Katrín Kristjánsdóttir; with a combined 41 percent stake.

Preparations for these changes in ownership have been in progress for the past two years, but the plans were formally announced to Samherji's board of directors in mid-2019.

According to a statement on Samherji's website, by transferring shares to their children, the company’s founders “want to maintain the essential family relationships that the company was built on and have been the cornerstone of its operations.”

CEO Thorsteinn Már Baldvinsson, and Kristján Vilhelmsson, managing director of ship operations, will continue to work for Samherji and remain in their positions.  

Samherji's operations are divided between the affiliated companies Samherji and Samherji Holding. As such, domestic operations are part of Samherji, while foreign operations belong to Samherji Holding.

The changes in ownership only concern shares in Samherji. There has been no change in the ownership of Samherji Holding.

"We are fully committed to participating in Samherji's ongoing operations. The company has a bright future and has grown and prospered despite various difficulties,” Baldvinsson and Vilhelmsson said in a joint statement. “Our staff has shown the owners and the company unparalleled loyalty for decades and laid the foundation for the stability that is a key element of the business. Now we have a new generation joining us. We have the opportunity to further evolve our value-added processing, provide work and job security and strengthen the important values ​​of sustainability and responsible use of resources that have been Samherji's strategy from the beginning." 

Contributing Editor reporting from London, UK

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