Shipowner and investor John Fredriksen tops an annual listing of Norway’s wealthiest individuals once again. Right behind him, though, are owners of two of the three grocery store chains that dominate the Norwegian market. They’re doing well during the Corona crisis.
Fredriksen, the former clerk from a working class family in Oslo, was listed with a net worth estimated at NOK 104 billion (USD 11.5 billion), according to Norwegian magazine Kapital. Fredriksen, who lives in London and gave up his Norwegian citizenship long ago, has routinely figured on the list, along with those of the world’s wealthiest. In addition to making a fortune in shipping, he also controls the large salmon producer Mowi (formerly Marine Harvest) and has invested in a wide range of other businesses.
Nearly tied for second and third place on the list with fortunes of around NOK 44 billion are grocers Odd Reitan, who founded the REMA 1000 chain, and Johan Johannson, one of the heirs to the family behind NorgesGruppen, which owns the Meny, KIWI, Spar, Joker and several other grocery chains as well as being an active wholesaler and coffee producer. The grocery sector has been doing particularly well during the Corona crisis, with so many Norwegians staying home and prevented from crossing the border to shop in Sweden, where prices are much lower than in Norway.
Yet another grocery store founder, Stein Erik Hagen, landed in seventh place on the list this year, with a fortune estimated at NOK 33 billion. Hagen owns 24 percent of Orkla, which produces food and household items from pizza Grandiosa to Zalo dishwashing soap, which also have been selling well during the crisis.