I too was affected by this bug.

Running 14.04.5 (ASUS NX500J Notebook), no outstanding updates - but HWE
upgrade performed to 16.04 compatible as prompted before upgrade,
upgrade from terminal to 16.04.1:

$ sudo do-release-upgrade

Failed as described by Boki during initial upgrade.

Upon reboot I was unable to login via the UI, the UI looked messed up and was 
unresponsive.
But I could access the terminal via: ctrl+alt+f1

I was able to restore a seemingly working 16.04.1 using the following
steps:

$ sudo apt-get dist-upgrade
This showed that I was missing a couple of dependencies, the names escape me - 
but it wasn't the offending package.

$ sudo apt-get -f install
Installed missing dependencies.

$ sudo apt-get dist-upgrade
This showed a large number of unneeded packages and more importantly a even 
larger number of up-gradable packages
I installed them, while being randomly being prompted for the password for the 
encrypted swap-partition.
It took a while but it succeeded.

-- 
You received this bug notification because you are a member of Ubuntu
Touch seeded packages, which is subscribed to fontconfig in Ubuntu.
https://bugs.launchpad.net/bugs/1617020

Title:
  package fontconfig 2.11.94-0ubuntu1.1 failed to install/upgrade:
  triggers looping, abandoned

Status in fontconfig package in Ubuntu:
  Confirmed

Bug description:
  I was upgrading from 14.04 to 16.04 as suggested by the GUI.

  ProblemType: Package
  DistroRelease: Ubuntu 16.04
  Package: fontconfig 2.11.94-0ubuntu1.1
  ProcVersionSignature: Ubuntu 3.13.0-93.140-generic 3.13.11-ckt39
  Uname: Linux 3.13.0-93-generic x86_64
  NonfreeKernelModules: nvidia
  ApportVersion: 2.14.1-0ubuntu3.21
  Architecture: amd64
  Date: Thu Aug 25 20:03:10 2016
  DuplicateSignature: package:fontconfig:2.11.94-0ubuntu1.1:triggers looping, 
abandoned
  ErrorMessage: triggers looping, abandoned
  InstallationDate: Installed on 2015-01-27 (575 days ago)
  InstallationMedia: Ubuntu 14.04.1 LTS "Trusty Tahr" - Release amd64 
(20140722.2)
  RelatedPackageVersions:
   dpkg 1.18.4ubuntu1.1
   apt  1.2.12~ubuntu16.04.1
  SourcePackage: fontconfig
  Title: package fontconfig 2.11.94-0ubuntu1.1 failed to install/upgrade: 
triggers looping, abandoned
  UpgradeStatus: Upgraded to xenial on 2016-08-25 (0 days ago)

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