Björgólfur Thor Björgólfsson
), known internationally as Thor Bjorgolfsson
is an Icelandic businessman
, and chairman of the financial firm Straumur-Burðarás
and chairman of Investment firm Novator.
He has been declared "Iceland's first billionaire", and is currently ranked by Forbes Magazine (in 2007) as the 249th-richest person in the world (up from 350th last year) with a net worth of 3.5B$. The Sunday Times Sunday Times Rich List (2007) lists his net worth at £2,000 million.
Björgólfur chose to go to the United States in 1986 at the time that his father's bankrupt firm, Hafskip, was embroiled in a financial scandal involving fraud and embezzlement.
In 1991, he graduated with a B.S. from New York University and opened a brewery in Russia.
Although experiencing difficulties at first, his Bravo Brewery became a success on the premium beer Botchkarov. He later sold that venture to Heineken for $400 million and returned to Iceland to gain interest in numerous ventures there.
In 2002 his holding company gained 45% share of Landsbanki Íslands, Iceland's second largest bank in a controversial privatization
In 2003, he bought a ruling share of the largest Icelandic shipping line Eimskip and the investment company Burðarás. He has since sold Eimskip to the Avion group. He has or had stake in four of the ten largest Icelandic businesses.
He is also chairman of Actavis, has significant holdings in Bulgarian telecommunications, and acquired Indian research company Lotus Laboratories.
In 2005 he also acquired 25% share in Polish telecommunication company Netia.
The Actavis Group acquired the New Jersey based generic drug company Amide Pharmaceutical for 500,000,000 USD in 2005.
He is a patron of the arts.
Björgólfsson's famous Icelandic colleagues are:
Notes & references