22 February 2019

Iceland Seafood International strengthens its operation in Southern Europe

The board of Iceland Seafood International (ISI) has decided to merge Icelandic Ibérica and Iceland Seafood Spain into one company.  The objective is to create one strong organization in the Southern European market, a vitally important market for cod products from Iceland.  Mr. Hjörleifur Ásgeirsson will leave his position as Managing Director of Icelandic Ibérica and Mr. Magnús B. Jónsson, currently the Managing Director of Iceland Seafood in Spain, will lead the new combined company. 

Magnús B. Jónsson

These companies form the largest part of ISI group of companies. In 2018, Icelandic Ibérica became part of the ISI group through the acquisition of Solo Seafood.   The companies have offices in Malaga, Barcelona and Vigo in addition to multiple smaller sales offices around Spain and Italy.  Both companies have strong brand and product recognition in the market, highly qualified people with valuable know-how and experience and a loyal customer base that will benefit from a stronger company.  The companies also run production sites in Malaga, Barcelona and Argentina. The combined turnover is about €180 millions.

Icelandic Ibérica was established in 1996 and is today one of the largest entity on the market for light salted cod products from Iceland in Southern Europe, the world largest market for frozen cod products from Iceland.

Iceland Seafood in Spain was founded in 1988 and has a long standing heritage in marketing salted cod products from Iceland since 1932.

The work of merging the two companies, has started and will be disclosed and carried out in coming months with the objective to strengthen access for producers and give better service to thousands of loyal customers in Southern Europe.

Mr. Hjörleifur Ásgeirsson, who established Icelandic Ibérica  in 1996 on behalf of Icelandic group has decided to retire from his position as a Managing Director of Icelandic Ibérica.  Mr. Ásgeirsson along with his team pioneered the market for light salted cod products from Iceland in Southern Europe, that today is the single largest market in the world for frozen cod products from Iceland.

Creating a market with a new product is never easy or straightforward. Mr. Ásgeirsson and his team have in the last quarter of a century successfully created a highly valuable Icelandic cod market.  This reflects a superior execution power and understanding of both the market and the potential of the product.  The light salted cod market has still significant growth opportunities going forward.

Mr. Ásgeirsson has built a valuable company. He’ll continue to support Iceland Seafood group in the transition phase. 

Mr. Magnús B. Jónsson, the Managing Director of Iceland Seafood Spain will be Managing Director for the new combined entity. Mr. Jónsson has served as Managing Director for Iceland Seafood SL for 13 years and previously worked for Icelandic Iberica for almost 10 years.  

Mr. Jónsson has transformed the business of Iceland Seafood Spain during his tenure in the firm and with the combined team will continue to promote highly valued products, both from Icelandic waters and overseas.

Bjarni Ármannsson CEO of ISI:  “This change is a logical step in our development in Southern Europe.  I’d like to take this opportunity to Congratulate Mr. Magnús Jónsson, who I know will do exceptionally well with his team to develop the new entity in Spain.  I very much look forward to support that process and see the company continue to grow.  I would also like to express my gratitude to Mr. Hjörleifur Ásgeirsson, Managing Director of Icelandic Iberica.  He has truly been a builder of new market and managed to build in a lifetime a very strong and successful company.  He will truly be missed from the daily operations as well as management – as he has been pivotal to the development of Icelandic Iberica.” Hjörleifur Ásgeirsson Managing Director of Icelandic Ibérica: “These past 23 years have been very demanding but at the same time exciting and giving. I am proud of the company we have built and very grateful to the fantastic team that has worked on this task together with me. I know the company is at a crossroad and I felt this would be a good time to step aside. I wish the company and its valuable employees all the best in this new venture.“

Magnús B. Jónsson, Managing Director for Iceland Seafood Spain: “It is a great honor being offered to lead the S-European business of ISI Group. I started as a Commercial Director in Icelandic Ibérica in 1996 and worked there until I got the opportunity to run the business of Iceland Seafood in Spain in 2006.  At that time the business had recently been formed with the merger of Armengol, Union Islandia and Iceland Seafood.  The company was a market leader in salted fish, and under the name of Iceland Seafood started to increase sales in frozen products. These last 13 years have been intensive and interesting, and I want to thank the team of Iceland Seafood for its great work and achievements during these years.

I look forward to taking on this new challenge where the objective will clearly be to serve our clients as best we can with the extremely competitive team of people we have on board of these two companies.  With a great customer base and a strong combined team the task ahead will be easier.”

Financial Calendar

Iceland Seafood International will publish the company’s annual results for 2018 after closing of markets on March 20th 2019. 

On March 21st at 8.30am, management will present and discuss the results with market participants and investors.  Management will also address outlook and financial effects of changes and development within the group.

Further information: Bjarni Ármannsson: bjarni.armannsson@icelandseafood.com

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