Magnús Þorsteinsson

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This is an Icelandic name. The last name is a patronymic, not a family name; this person is referred to by the given name Magnús.

Magnús Þorsteinsson is a businessman and was chairman of now defunct Avion Group. He was a high profile investor and entrepreneur with interests in aviation and financial services.

Beverage businessman in Saint Petersburg[edit]

Magnús began his investments in St. Petersburg together with Björgólfur Guðmundsson and Björgólfur Thor Björgólfsson.

The Icelandic businessmen, together with Russian partners, founded a bottling company Baltic Bottling Plant, which was sold to Pepsi. They moved to brewing and founded a brewing company Bravo International OOO in August 1996 which became Bravo International JSC in December 1997.[1] Bravo Brewery became a success on the premium beer Botchkarov.

Danish journalists noted that the Committee on External Economic Relations in the Mayor's office was responsible for foreigners in Saint Petersburg. The committee's chairman was Vladimir Putin.[1]

In 2005 an article in The Guardian wondered where the Icelandic money comes from and noted that in the 1990s these Icelandic businessmen "were not only ploughing money into the country but doing it in the city regarded as the Russian mafia capital. That investment was being made in the drinks sector, seen by the mafia as the industry of choice."[2] Competitors in the Saint Petersburg brewing market faced problems. Ilya Weismann, deputy director of a competing beverage company Baltic, was assassinated on January 10, 2000. Then Baltic director general Aslanbek Chochiev was assassinated. One competing Saint Petersburg brewery burned to the ground.[1][2]

Bravo Brewery became the fastest growing brewery in Russia. Heineken bought the brewery for $400m in 2002.[1][3]

Consul of Russia[edit]

In 2000, Saint Petersburg opened an honorary consulate in Iceland. Thor Bjorgolfsson was appointed Consul and Magnus Thorsteinsson was appointed Honorary Vice-Consul.[1] The opening ceremony was held on March 10, 2000.[1]

New businesses[edit]

Magnús acquired 51% of stocks in Air Atlanta Icelandic in 2002 and a majority share in Landsbanki with other controversial business partners, Björgólfur Thor Björgólfsson and Björgólfur Guðmundsson. Magnús lost most of his fortune in the 2008 financial crisis due to the high leverage in his investments.


Avion Group's Official Web Site

Magnús Þorsteinsson declared bankrupt - RÚV 04.05.2009