|Traded as||OSE: KVAER|
|Predecessor||Kvaerner Brug |
(2011 till present)
|Karl-Petter Løken, President & CEO|
Number of employees
Kværner was a Norwegian engineering and construction services company that existed between 1853 and 2005. In 2004, it was amalgamated to the newly formed subsidiary of Aker ASA - Aker Kværner, which was later renamed to Aker Solutions on 3 April 2008. Kværner re-emerged on 6 May 2011, when the EPC (engineering, procurement and construction) part of Aker Solutions took the Kværner name. The new Kværner company was listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange on 8 July 2011.
Kvaerner Brug was founded in Oslo in 1853 by industrialist Oluf A. Onsum (1820-1899). The company became principally involved in the production of cast iron stoves. In 1870, Kvaerner built its first hydroelectric turbine. During the early 1900s, Kvaerner power turbines remained the principal product line which also included bridges, cranes, and pumps. Kvaerner was listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange in 1967. By the 1990s, the company assembled a collection of engineering and industrial businesses, including shipbuilding, construction of offshore oil and gas platforms, production of pulp and paper manufacturing equipment and operation of shipping fleet.
Director-general of Kværner after the stock exchange listing were Kjell B. Langballe (1960–1976), Carl Røtjer (1976–1986) and Mikal H. Grønner (1986–1989). Chairmen were Frithjof A. Lind (–1982), Johan B. Holte (1982–1985), Emil Eriksrud (1985–1986), Carl Røtjer (1986–1989), and then Kaspar Kielland. Since 2011, the CEO has been Jan Arve Haugan.
Erik Tønseth became director-general of Kværner in 1989, and under his leadership the company underwent large-scale international expansion, acquiring the state-owned Govan Shipbuilders from British Shipbuilders. In 1992 Kværner acquired the Swedish company Götaverken. In 1996, Kværner acquired the UK conglomerate Trafalgar House and moved its international headquarters from Oslo to London.
The company's expansive acquisitions brought economic hardship to the company. Kjell Almskog became CEO in 1998, and implemented various plans to streamline the company. This included the sale of the Cunard Line (a division of Trafalgar House) to Carnival Corporation, the sale of Kvaerner Govan to BAE Systems and the sale of Chemrec to Babcock Borsig. The economic slowdown in 2001 and a series of management missteps brought the company to the brink of bankruptcy. In August 2000, Kværner sold its Construction Division to the Swedish company Skanska.
In November 2001, Kværner was forced to merge with its rival Aker ASA, a Norwegian oil services group controlled by Kjell Inge Røkke. Røkke scuppered the solution preferred by Kværner's management, a rescue by Russia's oil giant Yukos. Kværner's international headquarters returned to Oslo and Kværner was restructured to become a holding company, with operating activities concentrated in Aker Kværner and Aker Yards. As of 2005 Kværner ASA was merged with Aker Martitime Finance AS, a wholly owned company of Aker ASA and the Kværner corporation ceased to exist.
In 2008, Aker Kvaerner changed its name to Aker Solutions ASA. In December 2010, Aker Solutions announced a decision to cultivate its core businesses. Kvaerner was established, through a demerger, as a specialised EPC (engineering, procurement and construction) company addressing the global market.On 6 May 2011, the shareholders' annual general meeting approved the establishing of Kvaerner as a separate company.
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