The Big Guns unload

Mr. Johannesson had turned his family company, the Baugur Group, into a major presence in retailing, with investments in more than 3,700 stores in England, Iceland and Scandinavia, as well as in real estate and media.

Over the summer, Mr. Johannesson expressed interest in buying the Saks department store chain. He cultivates a hip image, with long flowing hair and black clothes, and according to a recent profile in The Times of London, furnished his London office with a 10-foot statue of a Viking with a Fender Stratocaster guitar strapped to his back.

But as the economy of tiny Iceland faltered, Mr. Johannesson’s empire began to crack. Earlier this month, Baugur Group’s British assets were placed under the control of an administrator, because of large unpaid debts to Icelandic banks.

From the NY Times

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