Jóhannes Jónsson, patriarch of the Icelandic corporation Baugur Group, sent a letter to every member of the parliamentary Business Committee and other MPs, accusing the committee chairperson Lilja Mósesdóttir of leading a campaign of persecution against him.
Baugur Group owns a number of different companies, and is arguably one of the most powerful corporation in Iceland, if not the most powerful. One of Baugur’s companies is Hagar, which runs retail stores such as Bónus, Hagkaup and 10-11. Mósesdóttir has recently put forth the idea that Hagar be broken up into smaller companies that new investors could take up, so as to stimulate competition, with the hopes of bringing prices down and quality up.
Jónsson responded by sending a letter to members of her committee, and other members of parliament, accusing her of engaging in political persecution. Mósesdóttir told Vísir that she received a message to call Jónsson, which she did, but it turned out to be a wrong number. She intends to respond to him formally soon.
Baugur, which once exemplified the Icelandic venture capitalist spirit in boom times, has run into a number of difficulties lately, having sold many of its former assets, and having applied from protection from creditors last year.