Jotun (company)

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Jotun Group
Industry Chemicals
Founded 1926
Headquarters Sandefjord, Norway
Key people
Morten Fon (President and CEO), Odd Gleditsch d.y. (Chairman of the board)
Products Paint
Owner Orkla Group (42.53%)
Number of employees
9,500 (2014)

The Jotun Group is a Norwegian chemicals company dealing mainly with paints and coatings. The company has a presence in more than 90 countries around the world, with 9500 employees, 69 companies in 44 countries, and 36 production facilities in 21 countries.


  • 1880:Alf Bjercke opens a shop that sells paint in Oslo.[1] In 1883 he opens a paint factory at Bryn.[2]
  • 1926: Jotun Kemiske Fabriker A/S was founded by Odd Gleditsch sr together with Ole Aanderud Larsen and Jean B. Linaae. All three sat on the board, with Ole Aanderud Larsen acting as chairman while Odd Gledisch was the company's first general manager.
  • 1930: Odd Gleditsch acquired Vera Fedtrafeneri, a vegetable oil refinery that had gone into liquidation.
  • 1939: A pension fund was set up for all employees—a highly unusual move at the time.
  • 1951: A new factory, complete with a large new laboratory, was finished at Gimle outside Sandefjord. Five engineers were taken on for the laboratory. Competitors thought this was madness, but Gleditsch justified it as follows: "Our future success depends on an investment in research and development."
  • 1968: Vera Fabrikker stopped producing vegetable oils and started manufacturing pipelines and heating oil tanks from gass fibre-reinforced polyester.
  • 1968: Corro-Coat was founded in conjunction with Gunnar Myhre, who felt that powder coatings, a new concept at the time, had real potential.
  • 1970: Odd Gleditsch jr was appointed chairman of the board in May.
  • 1972: The Merger of the largest paint manufacturers in Norway: Alf Bjercke AS, Fleischers Kjemiske Fabrikker, DeNoFa-Lilleborg's paint and synthetic resin business, and Jotun Odd Gleditsch.
  • 1975: It won the Norwegian Export prize.
  • 1976: The fire of 15 September] was the most dramatic event in Jotun's 75-year history. Six people were killed instantly in a massive explosion and 11 were injured - two seriously. The paint factory in Sandefjord was totally destroyed, as were the resin plants, warehouses and laboratories. The company's R&D operation was hit extremely hard at the same time as much of the group's production capacity was wiped out. The management found itself facing the enormous challenge of coming up with new production capacity, planning the rebuilding work, etc. The fire also put the company in an extremely difficult financial position, a state of affairs that was to last for four years.
  • 1977: The rebuilt paint factory at Gimle started manufacturing paint once more in April.
  • 1978: A new warehouse and distribution centre at Vindal came aboard and was Europe's most modern, computer-controlled high-bay warehouse at the time.
  • 1985: Scandia Kjemiske in Oslo was taken over by Jotun.
  • 1990: Jotun's founder, Odd Gleditsch Sr, died in January.
  • 1991: A high-tech environmental factory opened at Vindal. This was the largest investment to date, and a factory for the future. Nodest, a paint manufacturer in Lier near Drammen, was taken over.
  • 1995: Scanox AS was formed through the merger of Nodest and Scandia Kjemiske Fabrikker A/S.
  • 1997: The polymer division was sold.
  • 1998: A factory was opended in Thailand by Princess Märtha Louise of Norway.[citation needed]
  • 2000: Third generation Gleditsch Odd Gleditsch d.y. takes over as Chairman of the Board.
  • 2003: Jotacote Universal Launch of Jotun's first universal epoxy coating for marine newbuildings - for use in all positions on a vessel for shipyards with focus on high efficiency and throughput.
  • 2008: The world's most health-friendly paint SENS is introduced to the market, developed in collaboration with the Norwegian Asthma and Allergy Association.
  • 2010: Innovation in Powder Coatings Jotun launches powder coatings for use on MDF (Medium Density Fiberboard).


Jotun Warehouse in Přestanov, Czech Republic.
Whole building of Jotun Warehouse in Přestanov, Czech Republic.

The origins of Jotun can be traced back to a paint distributor's shop, opened by Odd Gleditsch in 1920. It was a good time for the whaling industry, and Gleditsch soon worked his way into the business of supplier to the whaling fleets in Sandefjord, Tønsberg, and Larvik.

As sales to the whaling fleet increased, Gleditsch saw the potential in manufacturing the paint as a solo trader. At Gimle, outside Sandefjord, there was an oil mill (Gimle Oljemølle A/S) which was closed due to bankruptcy – an oil mill which produced antifoulings and marine paints sold through the Gleditsch paint shop.

On 12 March 1926, Gleditsch invited shareholders to subscribe to the new company. With a share capital of NOK 60,000, Jotun Kemiske Fabrik A/S was founded, and bought the plant of Gimle Oljemølle A/S, with Odd Gleditsch as managing director. The production plant was modernised and product quality improved, all of which lead to increased sales.

Highlights 2012 ◾Achieved record growth in Middle East and South East Asia ◾Jotun acquired land for a new factory in Oman and is expanding warehouse and logistic capacity in Saudi Arabia and Egypt ◾Successful Scandinavian launch of LADY Wonderwall ◾Jotun opened new production facility in Norway (Sandefjord)

Jotun has organised its global organisation into seven regions, having the operational responsibility for business in all segments in the geographical area;

◾Scandinavia ◾West Europe ◾East Europe and Central Asia ◾Middle East, India and Africa ◾South East Asia and Pacific ◾North East Asia ◾Americas

Expansion: Alf Bjercke A/S[edit]

Head office in Oslo, a factory for unsaturated polyester outside Oslo, and factories in Sweden and Ethiopia. Alf Bjercke A/S was the oldest company participating in the merger. Their production went back to the 1880s - and the company's main production was paint for domestic and industrial use as well as unsaturated polyester.

Fleischers Kjemiske Fabrikker A/S[edit]

Located in Bergen, and was established in 1923. In addition to the Bergen factory, Fleischer had a production plant for alkyds as well as one for clear varnishes at Manger outside Bergen. Fleischers Kjemiske Fabrikker A/S was particularly known for their paints for exterior timber as well as paint systems for the fishing fleet.

A/S De-No-Fa Lilleborg Fabrikker[edit]

The activities in the business areas paint, varnish and synthetic resins were separated from their other business areas and merged with three other companies. De-No-Fa Lilleborg had traditions in the paint business as far back as 1830, when the company started production of linseed oil. The company had a production plant for paint and synthetic resins in Fredrikstad, where they manufactured house paints, marine coatings and synthetic resins as well as a large unit producing unsaturated polyester.

A/S Jotun Odd Gleditsch[edit]

This was the youngest company of the four - but the largest at the time of the merger. The basis for Jotun's rapid growth was mainly the sales of marine coatings to the Norwegian merchant fleet, and at the time of the merge 50% of Jotun's production was marine coatings, which were sold all over the world. A/S Jotun Odd Gleditsch had their production plant and head office in Sandefjord, and subsidiaries and associated companies for production in Libya, Spain, Thailand, Malaysia, and the United Kingdom.


The Jotun Group has four divisions, with its head office in Sandefjord,[3] Norway.

In addition, Jotun has agents, branch offices and distributors in more than 80 countries.

Jotun Dekorativ is responsible for decorative paints, stains and varnish deliveries to the trade and do it yourself, (DIY) markets in Scandinavia. This division comprises the decorative operations of Jotun A/S, Jotun Danmark A/S, Jotun Sverige AB and Scanox AS.

Jotun Paints has responsibility for decorative paints for all markets outside Scandinavia. The responsibility includes marine and protective coatings for markets in the Middle East and Southeast Asia.

Jotun Coatings has global responsibility for marine and protective coatings. The responsibility includes decorative paints in local markets in Europe and selected markets in Asia. Jotun is No. 2 in the world in marine coatings and No. 4 in protective coatings.

Jotun Powder Coatings has global responsibility for powder coatings. The product portfolio caters to the architectural, functional and industrial market segments to protect metal surfaces from corrosion and add style to their aesthetic appearance. Jotun is the world's fourth largest supplier of powder coatings for the industrial surface treatment.

Ownership outside Norway[edit]

1976: Jotun opens a paint factory in Singapore. Jotun had already been represented for some years through a sales company in the country, which had gradually built up an extensive ship repair business.

1980s: The 1980s were an exciting time for the company, characterised not only by expansion and innovation, but also by situations that called for tough decisions. Jotun had picked itself up again after the fire and went flat out to make a name for itself in the international market. 1983 alone brought the opening of three new paint factories: Jotun Saudia Co Ltd, Jotun (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd, El-Mohandes Jotun SAE in Egypt. Baltimore Copper Paint Co Ltd was closed in 1984. Corro-Coat Sdn Bhd (Malaysia) was set up. Jotun Paints LLC in Oman was formed.

1985: Jotun Powder Coatings Ltd is set up in the UK. Jotun Toz Boya (powder coatings) in Turkey was also taken over. A new marine coatings factory in Flixborough in the UK came online.

1988: A sales subsidiary of marine coatings, Chokwang Jotun, was established in South Korea. (Chokwang is one of the largest paint producer in South Korea and it entered into a technical partnership with Jotun in 1982)

1993: Corro-Coat Saudi Arabia was set up. Jotun Brignola, a marine coatings factory in Italy, was established. Jotun Ocean Paint Co Ltd in China was formed through the acquisition of a 51% stake in a factory run by the Chinese state shipping company Cosco. Regional laboratories were set up in Dubai (for the Middle East) and Kuala Lumpur (for South-East Asia).

1995: Corro-Coat (CZ) in the Czech Republic opened. Jotun acquired a 25% stake in the Finnish marine coatings factory Nor-Maali OY. The paint factory Jotun Abu Dhabi (LLC) was established.


1990: In Australia it purchased paint manufacturer Denso Dimet.


1999: Jotun acquired Valspar's marine operation in the United States and Canada.

Great Britain[edit]

1970: Jotun acquires UK company Henry Clark & Sons Ltd. This was an extremely important part of the company's strategy to become an international player in the marine coatings market. British shipping companies were extremely traditional, and it had proved difficult to break into the UK market.


1996: P T Jotun Indonesia opened and was the first company to manufacture both liquid and powder coatings.


In 1962 the company[citation needed] established a paint factory in Libya. This was Jotun's first overseas plant. Libya was chosen at the suggestion of the Norwegian Export Council because oil had been found there in 1959.

Odd Gleditsch junior was in the Jotun management, and on his initiative Libyan Norwegian Industrial Company - Linoco - was established.

Jotun's shareholding in Linoco was gradually reduced over time and eventually ceased in the mid-1980s.


2011: Jotun spent RM160 million on the production facility for its ultra-modern plant in Nilai, Negeri Sembilan.The plant, the largest in Asia-Pacific, will produce solvent-based advanced protective coatings, marine paints as well as high-performance anti-fouling paints and tinters for markets in South-East Asia.


1990: Red Sea Paint and binder factory Ratinjat in Saudi Arabia

South Africa[edit]

1997: It established Jotun Paints South Africa (Pty) Ltd.


1990: Torné-Jotun in Spain came about through the purchase of Industrial Torné;

2000: A new paint factory opened in Spain.

South Korea[edit]

1992: A marine coatings factory of Chokwang Jotun(South Korea) was established

1999: A regional laboratory for marine coatings was set up in South Korea.


1968: A new paint factory opens in Thailand.

1978: Corro-Coat Thailand becomes Jotun's first powder coatings company outside Norway.

1998: A new paint and powder coatings factory opened in Thailand and was Jotun's single largest investment to date.


1991: the paint factory Jotun Boya San ve Tic was established in Turkey.


1975: Jotun UAE in Dubai is founded.

1977: Vera UAE in Dubai, a factory for the production of glass fibre-reinforced polyester pipelines, opens.

1990: Corro-Coat UAE was founded in Dubai



2001: Jotun Powder Coatings Pakistan is founded.

2013: Jotun Pakistan Paints is founded.

United States[edit]

1974: Jotun acquired Baltimore Copper Paint Co, a US marine coatings factory.

1999: Jotun acquired Valspar's marine operation in the United States.

2000: Jotun acquired the marine coatings company PRS Inc in the United States.


June 2012: Jotun now owns a paint factory in Ba Dinh District, Ha Noi City in Vietnam.

Suspected corruption[edit]

In 2012 a maintenance manager of the company was indicted together with several subcontractors, in relation to suspicion of corruption within Norway.[4]

Logo history[edit]

Jotun was named after the Jotuns, a kind of giant featured in Norse mythology, and the Jotunheimen mountain range. The original logo was a hammer that Jotuns had stolen from Thor, the god of thunder. During the 1930s, this was replaced by a giant carrying Thor's hammer over his shoulder, as the hammer was now taken to be a political symbol of communism.

Later, it was decided that the giant looked too much like a troll and was for some time replaced by a reindeer in flight with the Jotunheimen mountains in the background. This logo was in turn replaced by a penguin, which suggested Gleditsch's history of whaling in the Antarctic.

The logo was updated in the 1970s to the current version by drawing a globe around the penguin to emphasize Jotun's global holdings.

Jotun and famous landmarks[edit]

Jotun has been / is being used on several famous landmarks around the world.

These includes:


External links[edit]