Here’s How It Feels to Be Rich, Lose All The Money, and Become Iceland’s Only Billionaire Again?
How does it feel to lose a $100 bill? It sucks and you’ll scramble to find it in your pockets, bags, and even in the closet in the hopes of seeing that note. So imagine losing billions in a blink of an eye – it is enough to make one go crazy. However, for Björgólfur Thor Björgólfsson, the sole billionaire in Iceland, becoming insane is not going to make his riches go back. There’s also no space for sulking and negativity, despite being strapped for cash.
The man, simply known in the UK as Thor, had fallen and has risen. On March 19, 1967, he was born to an already established family in Iceland – Thor Jensen, his great-grandpa, was instrumental in reinstating capitalism to the country, while his father headed one of the biggest shipping companies in the homeland called Hafskip and later was arrested for different charges.
After finishing school at New York University and the University of California San Diego, he went to Russia in the ‘90s to start soft drinks and beer business, which turned into a success. Heineken bought the company in 2002, which led Thor back in Iceland. Together with his dad, they purchased a 46-percent stake in Landsbanki after borrowing money from another bank.
The bad habits had accumulated – Thor had 40 limited liability companies (LLCs) and sought money more than his equity. After a couple of eyebrow-raising moves, including the leveraged buyout of the Actavis, a medicine company, the financial crisis happened. Deutsche Bank, which brought $5.4 billion for the debt of the company, then demanded the man to pay up, which prompted him to get $230 from his bank.
In 2008, Iceland’s president, Olafur Ragnar Grimsson, asked Thor to come home after witnessing the financial problem sweeping the globe. Landsbanki, the billionaire’s bank was in trouble and was looming shutdown. Within a week, the country was bankrupt and those who feel the brunt were the citizens who were forced to turn to their savings to survive.
People pointed their finger at Thor, who they said caused the financial disaster. In that short period of time, he became the most hated man in his country. From $3.5 billion, his net worth immediately went in the negative. The lenders were furious at him for his failed promises.
Rising from The Ashes
Fast forward to 2015, Thor came back from the rubbles, becoming a billionaire once more thanks to Actavis, which had a lot of challenges on its own. Its CEO sued the owner and vice versa and drugs had to be recalled. On top of that, the man had shouldered a $350-million debt from his father. By 2010, a deal was made between him and his creditors, stating that he wouldn’t borrow money unless he paid $1 billion.
That also meant selling some of his priciest possessions, including his megayacht, private jet, and a Ferrari. In 2012, Watson bought Actavis for a whopping $6 billion — $5.4 billion was given to the Deutsche Bank, while lenders got installment for $230 million. He took shares (4.3 million) in the drug company that’s worth $700 million, which he used to pay his debt. Now, he has an estimated net worth of $2.2 billion.
More in Rich & Famous
All You Need to Know About the Extraordinary YouTube Exec Susan Wojcicki, The Former Landlord of Google Founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin
Google has become more than just a proper noun, it is now also used as a verb in casual conversations. This...February 10, 2020
Want to Know What You Can Do to Get The Most Out Of Your Car? Let This Man’s Amazing Feat Inspire You
According to Consumer Reports, today’s average car has a lifespan of about 150,000 miles. Seems like a lot, right? But that...February 7, 2020
This 8-Year-Old YouTuber is Already Richer Than Most Working Adults–Here’s How He Did It
When Youtube was launched in the mid-2000s, it was just a place where regular people uploaded and shared simple videos that...February 7, 2020
TV Legend Larry King Just Quickly Sold His Longtime Palace-Like Residence & We Know The Reason Why
For people as rich as television and radio personality Larry King, parting with luxury homes may not be too hard. After...February 7, 2020
Elon Musk Has New Plans For Tesla & Chinese Car Designers Will Be Glad To Hear It
It looks like Tesla CEO Elon Musk is really determined in turning his cars into a global commodity as eyes the...February 7, 2020
New Year, New Job? Here’s What You Can Do to Stand Out From The Rest & Finally Land Your Dream Job
It looks like people’s desire to better their lives around new year’s time isn’t just limited to their private lives. According...February 7, 2020
Striking Out In The Romance Department? Addressing This Personal Finance Issue Might Solve Your Loveless Blues & Money Woes
When it comes to picking a potential romantic partner, different people have different preferences. From height to educational attainment to hobbies,...February 7, 2020
Don’t Have The ‘Right’ Experience For a Job You Want? Here Are Surefire Ways to Get Your Foot In The Door
Having previous experience is a requirement that many job listings cite to find the best candidates. That said, a lot of...February 6, 2020
Get Serious With Your Saving Habits Without Trying Too Hard By Following This Tried & Tested Technique
Now that the spending spree of the holiday season is finally over. It’s now time to get one’s finances back on...February 6, 2020