Mille-Marie Treschow, who took over her family’s forestry business and became one of Norway’s wealthiest women, died over the weekend following an unspecified illness. She had inherited the Treschow-Fritzøe business that extends back to 1835, and then expanded and modernized it.
“It is with great sorrow that we must report that our mother, Mille-Marie Treschow, died on Saturday 29 September,” read the statement issued by her son Michael Stang Treschow. He had taken over the business in 2015, after his mother turned 60.
“Michael is the eldest (of her two children) and we have a tradition in the family that the business shall only go to one heir, so that the company can be preserved and strengthened for further operation and restructuring in a steadily changing market,” Mille-Mare Treschow had stated when she found turning 60 “a natural point in time” to pass it on to the next generation.
Treschow was a well-known businesswoman and forest owner, with her family’s land covering extensive areas of Telemark, mostly around Siljan. Newspaper Dagens Næringsliv (DN) reported that Treschow-Fritzøe, rooted in Danish nobility, operates forestry operations, engages in real estate development and management, wholesaling, building products and masonry. Among its more well-known properties is the Farris Spa and hotel in Larvik, where the family’s private estate and castle Fritzøehus is located as well. It’s a landmark, with 75 rooms and 21 cellar rooms totalling 2,300 square meters, all surrounded by a large park.
“Mamma had a big heart for Treschow-Fritzøe and everyone who works here,” her son stated. “She has meant a lot for the development of the company from a traditional forestry business to a modern industrial concern.” He wrote that even though she had withdrawn from daily operations, she remained “strongly engaged” in the business.
Career after tragedy
She was educated in both Switzerland and the US after attending boarding school in England. Her older brother Fritz Gerhard was supposed to take over the family business but he died after what police believe was a suicide set off by an accidental shooting of his friend Johan Leopold Løvenskiold at a cabin in Telemark in 1974.
DN reported that she then became the candidate to take over, and in turn reported for duty to their father Gerhard Aage Treschow “if he thought it was interesting.” She told DN in 2009 that “we had our discussions … but he was good at telling me later that what I did was right.”
She had been married twice before entering into a third marriage, in 2004, with grocery store tycoon Stein Erik Hagen. Their wedding was one of the social events of the year, held at the estate in Larvik and attracting a wide range of celebrity friends including investor Christen Sveaas and artist Vebjørn Sand. The marriage broke up in 2012.
At her request Treschow will be buried on the grounds of the family estate, following her funeral on Wednesday October 10 in Larvik Church. Her son requested the family be left in peace “at a difficult time.”