Press release: 10. Desember 2013

Olav Thon has today established a new foundation, the Olav Thon Foundation.

The objects of the foundation are to exercise stable and long-term ownership of Olav Thon Gruppen AS and its subsidiaries in accordance with the key guidelines established by Olav Thon for his businesses, and to distribute funds to charitable causes.

The foundation can support the following purposes:

  • Purposes within the fields of mathematics/natural science and medicine.
  • Promotion of outstanding entrepreneurship in Norway.
  • Non-profit purposes in the local communities in which Olav Thon Gruppen operates.
  • Acquisition/construction of real property for non-profit use.

The foundation’s total equity amounts to NOK 25.4 billion, which is established through a gift from Olav Thon consisting of all shares in Olav Thon Gruppen AS.

Olav Thon expressed the following underlying thoughts behind the foundation:

“It is important for me that the future of the Olav Thon Group is safeguarded, so that the business provides secure jobs for all its employees and can also work both to promote the non-profit purposes that I wish to support and for society in general.  I have decided to set up the “Olav Thon Foundation” for this purpose.

The foundation will receive all shares in Olav Thon Gruppen AS, which is the leading company in the Olav Thon Group. The shares will constitute the foundation’s equity and are valued at around NOK 25 billion.

I have thought a lot about this matter in recent years. My conclusion is that safeguarding the future collective development of the Olav Thon Group, whilst at the same time ensuring that a proportion of the profits that the business generates can be distributed to various non-profit purposes, is the best contribution towards social development that I can make.”

The Olav Thon Group operates within the property development, hotel management, industry and retail sectors. The Group’s holdings include a 72% stake in Norway’s largest listed property company, Olav Thon Eiendomsselskap ASA, and one of the country’s leading hotel chains, Thon Hotels. The Group employs over 3,000 full-time equivalents. In 2012, turnover amounted to approx. NOK 8 billion, while profit before tax was approx. NOK 1.5 billion. The Olav Thon Group has a sound financial position. 

The foundation’s board is as follows: Olav Thon (chairman), Tron Harald Bjerke (vice chairman), Sissel Berdal Haga, Thore Liverød, Ole-Christian Hallerud, Arne Blikstad Sperre, Dag Tangevald-Jensen, Morten Thorvaldsen (deputy member) and Lars Løseth (deputy member).