The company’s recent investor presentations revealed that Sir Malcolm Waker, Iceland’s founder, used £141m to purchase former shareholder Brait and acquire 28 restaurants, while a further £8.6m was used to buy back shares from former joint MD Nigel Broadhurst.
According to the Times, the supermarket has refused to pay back around £40m of rates relief, despite Iceland sales rising 20% to £2.9bn in the 40 weeks to 1 January 2021.
In March last year, chancellor Rishi Sunak announced a 12 months’ business rates relief package available for all retailers, regardless if they needed to close during lockdown.
Waitrose and Marks & Spencers have announced they will not be paying back the rates relief, however.
In a statement to The Times, Iceland said: “We make no apology for using the relief to protect and create jobs and to offset significant Covid-related costs … We have not profiteered in any way from the relief provided.
“Several of our competitors have paid back relief, but are also making thousands of people redundant and closing stores.”