Icelandic investment firm FL Group has secured the sale of its entire shareholding in Icelandair Group for around IcKr35 billion ($517 million).

Around two thirds of Icelandair Group’s shares have been allocated, with three investor groups taking a majority 50.5% stake and a further 16% being set aside for other investors and Icelandair Group employees.

Icelandair Group says up to a third of the company is to be floated in a listing, which will be open to both institutional investors and the public.

FL Group says the estimated profit from the sale will be around IcKr26 billion, based on the book value of Icelandair Group as of June 2006.

The firm says due diligence for the transaction has been completed. The three key investors include Samvinnutryggingar-controlled Langflug, which is taking a 32% Icelandair Group stake.

Blue-Sky Transport Holding, which is mainly owned by former Air Atlanta Icelandic chief executive Omar Benediktsson, is acquiring 7.4% of the firm, while BNT-owned Naust will take an 11.1% stake.

FL Group CEO Hannes Smarason says: “The great interest of the investor community in Icelandair, made FL Group able to sell all its shares. This is in accordance with Icelandair Groups strong position and solid operations.

“FL Group is realising a substantial profit from the sale of Icelandair Group and this transaction creates significant flexibility for further investments for FL Group.”

Icelandair Group is a holding company for 12 airline, transportation and tourism companies, including scheduled international carrier Icelandair which carried 1.5 million passengers last year. The IcKr54 billion turnover group employs 2,700 staff.