Olav Thon (born 29 June 1923 in Ål, Hallingdal) is a Norwegian real estate developer and listed in the Forbes list of billionaires as the 198th richest person in the world with a net worth of $6 billion as of March 2013. He is Norway's richest person and his Olav Thon Group is Norway's largest private real estate company, with 450 properties, including 60 hotels.
His authorized biography, Olav Thon: Billionaire in a Parka, was written by Hallgrim Berg, a Norwegian politician and a folk musician; a translated version was published in English in October 2009.
Thon lives just outside Oslo, in Sollihøgda, Hole municipality. Thon is a Christian and is married but does not have any heirs. He grew up as a "farm boy who only went to the city to sell fox pelts". He enjoys various outdoor activities and is an honorary member of the Norwegian Trekking Association. Thon is "proud of his success, and his large tax bill, which he says he is glad to pay".
Olav Thon bought his first building in 1951 and opened his first restaurant in 1966. His company owns a total of 450 properties in Norway, including shopping malls, office buildings, retail stores, and hotels. His principal holdings are the private companies Stormgård AS and Thongård AS, in addition to a major stake in the publicly traded company Olav Thon Eiendomsselskap ASA.
In an article in the Norwegian newspaper Dagens Næringsliv on September 10, 2008, Olav Thon's solicitor, John Christian Elden, announced that Olav Thon intends to give away his entire fortune through the establishment of an independent foundation that focuses on the medical sciences. On December 10, 2013, he announced the decision for the entire 71.9% stake in his real estate company Olav Thon Eiendomsselskap ASA to give for charity trust of his own. Therefore, later, in February 2014, his personal assets estimated around 1 billion USD.
Thon has no heirs.
- "#198 Olav Thon". The World's Billionnaires. Forbes. Retrieved 19 March 2013.
- "Tobacco heir emerges as Norway’s wealthiest", Aftenposten, October 19, 2006.
- "Olav Thon - Billionaire in a Parka". Amazon.com. Retrieved 19 March 2013.
- DagenMagazinet - Olav Thon om kristen arbeidsetikk
- Norge IDAG - Thon til Oslo Symposium
- Thon set to give away his fortune, The Norway Mail, September 10, 2008.
- "Gir alt til stiftelse" (in Norwegian). nenyheter. 2013-12-10.
- "Bill Gates Tops Forbes List of Billionaires for Seventh Year". Bloomberg. February 26, 2004.
- Berg, Hallgrim (2009). Olav Thon: Billionaire in a Parka. North American Heritage Press. ISBN 978-0942323436.
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