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Last Updated: Tuesday, 20 September 2005, 11:31 GMT 12:31 UK
Baugur boss fraud case thrown out
An Iceland store
Baugur's retail empire includes Big Food Group, owner of Iceland
A court in Iceland has dismissed fraud charges against Jon Asgeir Johannesson, the boss of Baugur, which owns several top British retailers.

Mr Johannesson and five others had been accused of fraud and embezzlement.

Prosecutors said they planned to appeal against the decision at Iceland's Supreme Court.

Baugur has become one of the UK's leading retail investors, acquiring Hamleys, Karen Millen, Goldsmith's, The Big Food Group and Booker.

Expanding presence

Baugur had slowed the pace its expansion plans pending the outcome of the trial, withdrawing from a consortium attempting to buy supermarket chain Somerfield.

Nevertheless, it is still intent on expanding its presence on the UK High Street.

It recently increased its stake in fashion retailer French Connection, prompting speculation that it may try to buy the firm.

The Icelandic authorities brought 40 charges of fraud against Mr Johannesson and five others, including several former Baugur employees.

Baugur supported Mr Johannesson and claimed that the charges - which surrounded alleged breaches of accountancy rules - were politically motivated.

Baugur has concluded 45 deals since 1998, becoming an influential player in the UK retail industry in the process.




SEE ALSO:
Baugur adds to fashion portfolio
29 Jul 05 |  Business
Baugur forced to slow expansion
10 Jul 05 |  Business
Baugur drops Somerfield bid plans
14 Jul 05 |  Business
Baugur: From Iceland to Iceland
04 Jul 05 |  Business


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