Restructuring and insolvency in Iceland

3 Verulam Buildings

Following its 2019 merger, BBA//Fjeldco's practice is instructed on some of Iceland's leading restructuring and insolvency mandates spanning takeovers, private equity investments and refinancings. On the contentious side, the group has recently acted in D&O cases and disputes over share purchase agreements. In a recent non-contentious highlight, Ásgeir Ragnarsson advised Arion Bank on its takeover of the Nordic company Travelco following its default on loans owed to the client, representing one of few successful enforcements of a share pledge agreement of this type to take place in a Nordic country. Group co-head Einar Baldvin Árnason stands out for his active role in mandates emerging from the financial crash, and fellow co-head Gunnar Thor Thorarinsson assisted bondholders of Iceland's failed banks with restructuring issues and high-value settlement negotiations.

Practice head(s):

Einar Baldvin Árnason; Gunnar Thor Thorarinsson

Key clients

Eaton Vance Management

Alvotech and Alvogen

TBJ Group

Turkish Development Bank, World Bank

Nox Holding ehf.

Diversis Capital

Kvika bank hf.

Íslandsbanki hf.

ODDEG 

SportsDirect.com Retail

The Collectivié de Strasbourg Metropole

Glitnir hf.

Arion Bank hf.

LBI ehf.

Kaupthing ehf.

Byr savings bank

Work highlights

  • Handled the restructuring of the Alvotech group, in which Alvotech Holdings became the parent company of Alvotech, and the subsequent issuance by Alvotech Holdings of convertible bond instruments.
  • Advised on the restructuring of the Sjóklæðagerðin group, in which 66North Holding became the parent company of Sjóklæðagerðin.
  • Handled the restructuring and refinancing of TBJ ehf.

Lex Law Offices

The restructuring and insolvency team at Lex Law Offices is frequently appointed as trustee to bankruptcy estates, with Arnar Þór Stefánsson and Thorhallur Bergmann handling high-profile work. The group also acted for the Central Bank of Iceland Asset Holding on the liquidation of its assets. Guðmundur Ingvi Sigurðsson's substantial caseload includes acting for 40 bondholders of WOW Air in the company's insolvency proceedings, while practice head Helgi Jóhannesson is often appointed as trustee during bankruptcy proceedings.

Practice head(s):

Helgi Jóhannesson

Key clients

Bondholder Group of WOW Air hf.

Unitec Silicon ehf.

Central Bank of Iceland Asset Holding

Bankruptcy Estate of B230 ehf.

Bankruptcy Estate of Azazo hf.

Bankruptcy Estate of Prime Tours ehf.

Eldisstöðin Ísþór ehf.

Bankruptcy Estate of Verkleigan ehf.

Bankruptcy Estate of JB Byggingarfelag ehf.

Bankruptcy Estate of Procura radgjof ehf.

Work highlights

  • Representing a group of 40 bondholders in the bankruptcy proceedings of Icelandic airline, WOW Air.
  • Assisting Eldisstöðin Ísþór with its refinancing with Arion bank.
  • Handling the ISK42m bankruptcy proceedings of Procura ráðgjöf.

LOGOS

With offices in Reykjavik and London, LOGOS handles a broad spectrum of work covering multiple jurisdictions including overseeing the liquidation of insolvent companies, advising on the purchase of shares in bankrupt estates and handling major refinancing mandates. Practice head Heiðar Ásberg Atlason, whose clients include large international banks and financial institutions, recently represented Baugur Group in bankruptcy proceedings.

Practice head(s):

Heiðar Ásberg Atlason; Guðbjörg Helga Hjartardóttir

Key clients

Siminn hf.

Lyf og heilsa hf.

Gildi

VR

Pension Fund of State Employees

Arion bank

Reykjanesbaer – Municipality

Estate of SS Hus ehf.

Baugur Group Estate

Origo hf.

1912 ehf.

Work highlights

  • Acting as court appointed administrator for the estate of SS Hús.
  • Acting as defence counsel for Sjöstjarnan and Stjarnan before the District Court and the Court of Appeals in several cases relating to a company’s bankruptcy.
  • Assisted Origo with the purchase of all assets of the bankrupt estate of Tolvutek.

ADVEL Attorneys at Law

The restructuring group at ADVEL Attorneys at Law has recently acted in various winding-up and bankruptcy proceedings, where the team represents financial creditors and insolvent companies; it also acts for lenders providing loans to distressed companies. Practice head Guðmundur Siemsen is highly active and demonstrates particular expertise in restructuring work in the aviation and energy sectors.

Practice head(s):

Guðmundur Siemsen

Key clients

Festi

Advania

Festing

Fóðurblandan

Arion bank

Capacent

Juris

Juris acts for petitioners, including companies and banks, in claims for damages arising from alleged criminal conduct, winding-up proceedings and loan defaults. The group is also recognised for its historic work for the winding-up of domestic banks following the 2008 financial crash, and has established expertise in rescission cases. Stefán A. Svensson is noted for his experience in complex insolvency mandates and rescission cases, while practice co-heads Andri Árnason and Halldór Jónsson have experience serving as liquidators.

Practice head(s):

Andri Árnason; Halldór Jónsson

Key clients

Kaupþing ehf.

Íslandsbanki hf.

Work highlights

  • Represented Kaupþing in civil claims for the recovery of funds lost due to alleged criminal conduct prior to the financial collapse in 2008.
  • Represented Íslandsbanki in litigation against the estate of the former Icelandic savings bank Byr and the Icelandic State relating to Íslandsbanki’s purchase of certain parts of Byr.