Frozen food specialist Iceland is to launch in the country of the same name after striking a deal with Johannes Jonsson, the father of controversial former Baugur boss Jón Ásgeir Jóhannesson.


Sources close to Iceland said Jonsson is to become the franchisee for the frozen food specialist in the country.

The grocer has thrived in difficult trading conditions in the UK and it will hope to have the same success in Iceland, where the economy also continues to struggle.

The retailer’s presence in the country is likely to be small, because Iceland has a population of 317,398.

The grocer already has franchised stores in Spain and Portugal and opened its first shop in the Czech Republic in January.

Jonsson has a background in retail as founder of Icelandic retailer Bonus. He set it up in 1988 and recruited his son, Jón Ásgeir Jóhannesson, to run the business.

Jón Ásgeir Jóhannesson made his name as Baugur took control of swathes of the UK high street, and held stakes in names ranging from Hamleys, House of Fraser – and Iceland – before going bust in 2009.

Jonsson could not be reached.

Iceland declined to comment.