Kaupthing hf

The ‘puffin plot’ – a saga of international bankers and Icelandic greed

2017-03-29 23

In a formal signing ceremony 16 January 2003 a group of Icelandic investors and the German bank Hauck & Aufhäuser purchased shares in a publicly-owned Icelandic bank. Paul Gatti represented the German bank, proudly airing the intension of being a long-term owner together with the Icelandic businessman Ólafur Ólafsson. What neither Gatti nor Ólafsson mentioned was that earlier that same day, at a meeting abroad, their representatives had signed a secret contract guaranteeing that the Icelandic bank Kaupthing, called ‘puffin’ in their emails, would finance the H&A purchase in Búnaðarbanki. All profit would accrue to Ólafsson, in the end $100m he later split with Kaupthing’s other large shareholder, Lýður and Ágúst Guðmundsson. Thus, Ólafsson and the H&A bankers fooled Icelandic authorities with the diligent help of advisors from Société General. – This 14 year old saga has surfaced now thanks to the Panama Papers. What emerges is a story of deception similar to the famous al Thani story, which incidentally sent Ólafsson and some of the Kaupthing managers involved in the ‘puffin plot’ to prison in 2015. Ólafsson is however still a wealthy businessman in Iceland. ....

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Icelandic State Was Deceived in Bank Sale

Posted 31/03/2017 - 08:31 by anrigaut

2017-03-28 23

The German bank Hauck & Aufhäuser was never an actual investor in Búnaðarbankinn bank when the Icelandic State’s 45.8 percent stake in the latter was sold in January of 2003. This is the conclusion of the Special Investigation Commission (SIC) of Alþingi, the Icelandic parliament, RÚV reports. SIC concludes that authorities were systematically deceived leading up to and following the sale.

A press release from the committee states that detailed written documents indisputably show that the German bank, Kaupþing hf. In Iceland, Kaupthing Bank in Luxembourg, and a group of men working for and on behalf of investor Ólafur Ólafsson used secret agreements to hide the true ownership of shares attributed to Hauck & Aufhäuser. The actual owner was instead the offshore company Welling & Partners, registered on Tortola, the British Virgin Islands. With numerous secret agreements and transfers of funds, among others from Kaupþing hf. to an account of Welling & Partners at Hauck & Aufhäuser, the German bank was guaranteed indemnity in the deal with Búnaðarbankinn.

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Press release: White & Case Advises Kaupthing on Landmark Restructuring

Posted 24/12/2015 - 15:43 by anrigaut

2015-12-23 (All day)

Global law firm White & Case LLP has advised Icelandic bank Kaupthing hf. on its restructuring, which is effective from December 23, 2015.


With priority creditors having already been paid, and subject only to receiving certain exemptions from capital controls upon delivery of an agreed stability contribution to the Icelandic authorities, the successful restructuring will enable the distribution of billions of euros in cash, as well as other instruments, to senior unsecured creditors. It will also facilitate those creditors taking control of the company and its remaining assets. Completing the restructuring before the end of 2015 also ensures that Kaupthing is not subject to an Icelandic stability tax on its assets, preserving value for creditors.


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Former CEO of Kaupþing bank wants judge to recuse himself ...

Posted 07/10/2015 - 06:36 by anrigaut

2015-10-05 23

Lawyers for former CEO of failed Kaupþing bank want a judge to recuse himself from a case involving allegations the managers of Kaupþing fraudulently transferred large sums to a company called Marple Holdings and for a subsequent purchase of bonds from the company. The Special prosecutor alleges that all in all the accused fraudulently transferred 8 billion ISK (63 million USD/56 million EUR) to the company in 2007-8.

Embezzlement, fraud and breach of trust
The Special Prosecutor has charged Hreiðar Már Sigurðsson, the former CEO of Kaupþing, and Guðný Arna Sveinsdóttir, the former CFO of Kaupþing, with embezzlement in the case, Magnús Guðmundsson the CEO of Kaupþing Luxembourg for participating in the embezzlement and Skúli Þorvaldsson, investor and the listed owner of Marple Holdings, for cover-up. The former Kaupþing bosses have claimed innocence while Skúli has denied having actually owned the company.

Now the lawyers of Hreiðar Már have requested one of the judges in the case, Ásgeir Brynjar Torfason, recuse himself the local news site visir.is reports. The lawyers believe the judge cannot be considered impartial due to several Facebook likes, Twitter posts, an anonymous blog post they allege was written by Ásgeir and his work for a non-profit which fights corruption. The Reykjavík District court will consider these demands today.


The case is the latest in a series of high-profile cases against the former managers of Kaupþing. Earlier this year the Supreme court of Iceland sentenced Hreiðar Már and Magnús to prison for 5,5 years and 4,5 years in prison respectively for market manipulation. Seven top managers of Kaupþing were sentenced by the Reykjavík District Court in a second market-manipulation earlier this summer.

The Reykjavík District court will hand down its verdict in the current case on Friday, 9 October.

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Kaupthing hf Creditors' Report April 2014

Posted 11/04/2014 - 20:59 by anrigaut

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The Kaupthing hf Winding-up Committee has just released its (64-page) Creditors' Report, presented to the creditors' meeting on April 10th.

The Address from the WuC begins:

Kaupthing Hf Financial Statements for 2013

Posted 04/04/2014 - 10:57 by anrigaut

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The Kaupthing hf Financial Statements for 2013 and related Supplementary Material, published respectively on 17th and 20th March 2014, are available here: http://www.kaupthing.com/home/announcements/a

Kaupthing Rejects Krona Asset Writedowns Sought by Government

2013-09-24 23

The caretakers of Kaupthing Bank hf won’t ask creditors in the failed lender to accept writedowns on their krona-denominated claims, a step the government says is necessary to end the island’s capital controls.

“The winding up committee is obliged by law to preserve the value of Kaupthing’s assets,” Johannes Runar Johannsson, a member of Kaupthing’s winding-up committee, said in an interview last week in London. “It’s therefore difficult, or even impossible, to see how the winding-up committee could make such a recommendation, given its legal duties.”

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Iceland Supreme court rulings in cases involving Kaupthing WuC

2013-03-13 (All day)

Two new judgements by the Iceland Supreme Court - one in favour and one against the Kaupthing Winding-up Committee.

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Kaupthing Hf Winding-Up Committee swap debt for equity

Posted 28/11/2010 - 12:57 by sami

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I see there is some news on Bloomberg as follows:

Further update on individual claims under the Parental Guarantee

Posted 17/10/2010 - 21:12 by anrigaut

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It appears that what I had understood to be the final batch of rejections of the individual claims made under the PG was not, and that some claims are still being considered (and rejected) by the Khf

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