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Fishing companies sell media stake

Published by FiskerForum, 06-04-2017 · info@fiskerforum.dk

Shares held by fishing companies in Iceland’s main daily newspaper Morgunblaðið have changed hands. Fishing operators bought a substantial stake in the newspaper’s owning company shortly after the 2008 financial crash.

Samherji has sold its 18.43% holding in Morgunblaðið’s parent company Árvakur to Eythór Arnalds, a businessman with interests in energy and telecoms, who has also purchased the 6.14% share owned by Síldarvinnslan and Vísir’s 2.05%, giving him a 26.60% shareholding in Morgunblaðið.

The largest stake in Árvakur still remains with the fishing industry, with 13.43% held by fishing company Ísfélag Vestmannaeyja and 16.43% by Hlynur A ehf, both of which companies are owned by Guðbjörg Matthíasdottir.

Morgunblaðið has been a respected newspaper for more than a century, although its credibility took a hit when the owners who took over following the crash intervened in its editorial policy by firing the then-editor who took a largely positive stance on Iceand’s possible EU membership, replacing him with former Prime Minister and Central Bank head Davíð Oddsson, who also stood as a candidate in last summer’s presidential elections.

The traditionally right-wing newspaper has campaigned remorselessly against EU membership and against the levies placed on fishing operators. It remains to be seen whether or not the newspaper’s rigid stance will change now that there is some new ownership.

‘The media and the importance of strong, independent media have long been on my mind,’ said Eythór Arnalds in a statement in Morgunblaðið

Source: Morgunblaðið & others

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