Icelandic Group turns over Icelandic brand to the Icelandic nation

Yesterday, the the representatives of Icelandic Group ehf, turned over ownership of the brands Icelandic and Icelandic Seafood to Prime Minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir, as a representative of the Icelandic nation.

 Finance Minister Bjarni Benediktsson and Minister for Foreign Affairs Gudlaugur Þór Thórðarson were also present at the ceremony in the Culture House, Hverfisgata (Reykjavík). The above brands are under the ownership of Icelandic Trademark Holding ehf., which manages their registration, protection and utilisation, and ensures that they are used in relation to the marketing and selling of Icelandic products and services. The objective is that these brands will be used in the best possible way towards serving more Icelandic business on a broad basis into the future.

 Icelandic Trademark Holding (ITH), which manages the Icelandic brands and business with them, is virtually the only asset of Icelandic Group ehf. By turning over every share in ITH to the Icelandic State Treasury, actual operation of Icelandic Group ehf is suspended. The present idea is for Icelandic firms to have the possibility of cooperating with ITH for the purpose of promoting under the Icelandic brand those products and services which can further support the image of high-quality Icelandic products and services, with sustainability in mind. The plan is that ITH operation will be strengthened even further in the cooperation between the Icelandic Government and Icelandic busineses in all fields. Presently, ITH has licensing agreements with the Icelandic company Margildi ehf., the Canadian company High Liner Foods, and Solo Seafood, which owns the Spanish company Ibérica. In the near future, Margildi will begin promoting a new product under the Icelandic brand in the USA.

The parent company of Icelandic Group ehf., Iceland Enterprise Investment Fund ehf. (EIF), recently concluded its operations. During its operating years, EIF invested in nine companies and thereby gained total profits of about ISK 47 billion for EIF shareholders, amounting to an annual internal rate of return of 22.6%. 

In his address as EIF board chair, Thorkell Sigurlaugsson noted the success of fund operations and expressed his hope that the brands Icelandic and Icelandic Seafood would be able to grow and prosper, for the good of the nation as a whole.

 Prime Minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir, who also addressed the guests at the Culture House described the Icelandic Group’s gift as generous due to the tremendous value associated with the brand. She added: "It is important to continue to nurture this brand, as well as increasing and boosting the positive image of Icelandic products, no matter whether they are in the form of goods, services or Icelandic culture. Icelandic authorities will now have the role of tending to this asset and ensuring that it remains an everlasting possession of the Icelandic State."

Speaking at the day's Culture House ceremony, Herdís Fjeldsted stated as board chair of Icelandic Group and outgoing CEO of the EIF: "It is with great satisfaction that I turn over these valuable brands to the Icelandic nation on the centennial anniversary of Icelandic sovereignty. By doing this, Icelandic businesses will be able to link themselves to their origin and benefit from the country's positive image, so that Icelandic will serve to increase export value and thus shore up the economic foundations of this society over the long term."

Sara Lind Thrúdardóttir, Managing Director of ITH, mentioned in her speech at the Culture House that great opportunities were available to Icelandic business through collaborating on marketing and promotion work overseas under the Icelandic banner, since Iceland's image was connected to purity and exceptional beauty.

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