SWEDEN - Kaupthing Bank Sverige AB, the Swedish arm of the troubled Icelandic bank, has sold Kaupthing Pension Consulting (KPC) AB in a management buyout.
No price has been disclosed in relation to the deal but which sees the wholly-owned subsidiary taken over by a group of employees led by KPC chief executive Dick Simonosson.
The pension consulting business was established in 2004 to provide a broad range of pension and remuneration services to both listed companies and individuals, while the work conducted by the firm's research team includes evaluating pension trends, capital markets, and changes in legislation.
Kaupthing Pension Consulting currently consists of around 20 staff, in offices in Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmoe, and it has a turnover of approximately SEK50m (€5.1m) a year.
Peter Borsos, head of communications at Kaupthing Bank Sweden, said: "The main reason for the sale was KPC's desire to stay independent and since Kaupthing Sweden AB is in a sales process, because the Icelandic mother company is under administration, we saw this as the best way for the company."
In a statement confirming the deal, Simonsson added the buy-out was the "best way to pursue the activities of KPC", as the changes in the future of Kaupthing Bank Sweden had "highlighted the importance of our independence".
It is understood KPC will shortly change its name and address, although it will continue to have a partnership with Kaupthing Bank Sweden in relation to government services and funds.
Kaupthing Bank is one of three Icelandic banks, alongside Glitnir and Landsbanki, which have come under the control of the Icelandic Financial Supervisory Authority (FME), following the impact of the credit crunch and market volatility.
On 9 October 2008, the bank released a statement confirming the actions of Alistair Darling, UK Chancellor of the Exchequer - in stating the Iceland did not intend to honour its obligations to depositors - had led to the UK Financial Services Authority (FSA) transferring Kaupthing Edge, a UK online savings scheme, from the bank's UK subsidiary Kaupthing Singer & Friedlander.
Following this event, Sigurdur Einarsson, former executive chairman of Kaupthing, revealed the Isle of Man-based operation Kaupthing Singer & Friedlander had been placed into administration while Kaupthing Bank's creditors claimed the situation "represented an event of default according to the parent company's loan agreements and was therefore a technical default", adding "it did not matter that the parent company had sufficient liquidity and its position was solid".
The board of directors resigned on 9 October, and at the end of October the FME established the New Kaupthing Bank, wholly-owned by the Icelandic government, to take over the domestic operations of the troubled company, although the bank's international operations remain "separated".
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