Olav Thon

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Olav Thon
Olav Thon 2013-04-30 001.jpg
Thon in 2013
Born (1923-06-29) 29 June 1923 (age 99)
EmployerOlav Thon Gruppen
TitleChairman of Olav Thon Gruppen
Sissel Berdal Haga
(m. 2019)

Olav Thon (born 29 June 1923) 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.[1][2] As of 12 March 2021, Bloomberg Billionaires Index estimated his net worth at US$6.20 Billion, making him the 437th richest person in the world.

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.[3]


Thon lives just outside Oslo, in Sollihøgda, Hole municipality. Thon is a Christian and is married but does not have any heirs.[4][5] 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.[1] Thon is "proud of his success, and his large tax bill, which he says he is glad to pay".[1]

Thon was appointed honorary doctorate at Karlstad University in 2013.[6]


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.[1]


In an article in the Norwegian newspaper Dagens Næringsliv on 10 September 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.[7][1] On 10 December 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.[8] Therefore, later, in February 2014, his personal assets estimated around US$1 billion.[9]

Thon has no heirs.[1]

Personal life[edit]

Thon has been in a longtime relationship with Inger-Johanne Thon, though they never married and he never wanted to divorce her due to her suffering from Alzheimer.[10]

He had also been in a relationship with Sissel Berdal Haga, whom he officially married on 21 June 2019.[11]


  1. ^ a b c d e f "#198 Olav Thon". The World's Billionnaires. Forbes. Retrieved 19 March 2013.
  2. ^ "Tobacco heir emerges as Norway’s wealthiest", Aftenposten, October 19, 2006.
  3. ^ Berg, Hallgrim (2009). Olav Thon - Billionaire in a Parka. ISBN 978-0942323436.
  4. ^ DagenMagazinet - Olav Thon om kristen arbeidsetikk
  5. ^ "Norge IDAG - Thon til Oslo Symposium". Archived from the original on 2015-04-05. Retrieved 2011-03-21.
  6. ^ Radio, Sveriges. "Nye hedersdoktorn Olav Thon slår tillbaka mot kritiken - P4 Värmland". Retrieved 2017-08-26.
  7. ^ Thon set to give away his fortune, The Norway Mail, September 10, 2008.
  8. ^ "Gir alt til stiftelse" (in Norwegian). nenyheter. 2013-12-10.
  9. ^ "Bill Gates Tops Forbes List of Billionaires for Seventh Year". Bloomberg. February 26, 2004.
  10. ^ "Olav Thon: Derfor har han hatt både kone og kjæreste i over tretti år" (in Norwegian). Nettavisen. 10 June 2017. Retrieved 29 June 2022.
  11. ^ "Mann og kone: Olav Thon (95) har sagt ja til Sissel Berdal Haga (78)" (in Norwegian). E24. 21 June 2019. Retrieved 29 June 2022.

Further reading[edit]

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