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British Billionaire Buys Grímsstaðir

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British Billionaire Buys Grímsstaðir

Grímsstaðir

From Grímsstaðir á fjöllum. Photo: Páll Stefánsson.

British billionaire Jim Ratcliffe has purchased the majority of the land of Grímsstaðir á fjöllum, Northeast Iceland, located in the highlands north of Vatnajökull glacier, mbl.is reports. This was confirmed by Gísli Ásgeirsson, CEO of the angling club Strengur.

Ratcliffe, 64, is a chemical engineer turned financier and industrialist. He is the founder and majority owner of Ineos chemicals group. His net worth is estimated at USD 6.8 billion (EUR 6.5 billion), according to Forbes.

Gísli claims Ratcliffe has no development plans regarding the land, and says the purchase will not bring any change for other owners, but the Icelandic State is one of the owners of Grímsstaðir. On the contrary, the land is said to have been bought with the purpose of protecting salmon rivers in Northeast Iceland.

“This is part of a project to build up [the salmon stock in] these rivers,” Gísli stated, but Ratcliffe is a shareholder in Strengur, which leases the rivers Selá, Hofsá and Hafralandsá.

Recently, it was reported that Ratcliffe purchased three pieces of land in Vopnafjörður, Northeast Iceland, through which salmon rivers run.

Grímsstaðir á fjöllum was put up for sale in October at the price of ISK 780 million (USD 6.8 million, EUR 6.55 million). In 2012, Chinese investor Huang Nubo had plans to purchase the land for more than ISK 1 billion (USD 8.7 billion, EUR 8.4 billion) and to build a luxury hotel and golf course on the property. When running into legal hurdles, Huang Nubo planned to lease the land for 40 years, but those plans fell through as well.

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