Icelandic genetic research company deCODE, once a symbol of Iceland’s ingenuity and cutting edge, has been sold to an American company as operating costs outgrew profits.
According to RÚV, Saga Investment purchased the company, and Kári Stefánsson will continue to serve as director. The company will also continue its research into Iceland’s genetic history.
The problem became apparent when the books were opened: deCODE’s overall profits were about 70 million USD, while their debts stood at 314 million USD. In this condition, the company could not reasonably operate on its own anymore. deCODE sought a moratorium on its debt, but it is likely that this will be ended once the sale of the company is complete.
Stefánsson, for his part, was very candid when speaking with radio station Rás 2 yesterday, saying that the company’s problems are its own fault; no one else’s, and that he is disappointed that the company was not able to develop better than it did.
And, as The Times report, there are now privacy concerns over the genetic data deCODE has amassed over the past decade or so.