- Jotun (company)
Jotun is one of the world's leading producers of
paints, coatings and powder coatings. The group has 71 companies and 40 production facilities on all continents. In addition, Jotun has agents, branch offices and distributors in more than 70 countries.
In 2007 the group had a turnover of NOK 8,872 million [cite web|url=http://www.dn.no/500 |title=DN500 |language=Norwegian |author=
Dagens Næringsliv] , and 6,300 employees. The Jotun Group has four divisions, with its head office in Sandefjord[cite web|url=http://w2.brreg.no/enhet/sok/detalj.jsp?orgnr=923248579 |title=Company organisation number 923248579 |language=Norwegian |author= Brønnøysund Register Centre] , Norway.
Jotun Dekorativ is responsible for decorative
paints, stains and varnishdeliveries 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 Eastand Southeast Asia.
Jotun Coatings has global responsibility for marine and protective
coatings. The responsibility includes decorative paints in local markets in Europeand 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 metalsurfaces from corrosionand add style to their aesthetic appearance. Jotun is the world's fourth largest supplier of powder coatings for the industrial surface treatment of metal.
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
whalingindustry, 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.
March 12 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.
In 1962, international activities were introduced with Jotun, as a supplier of marine coatings to the Norwegian merchant fleet, establishing their first production plant outside Norway, in
Libya. Libya was a kingdom at the time, active in oil exploration, and the indications were that the economy would develop fast. Odd Gleditsch juniorwas in the Jotun management, and on his initiative Libyan Norwegian Industrial Company - "Linoco" - was established.
Although Jotun's shareholding in "Linoco" was gradually reduced over time and eventually ceased in the mid-1980s, "Linoco" played an important role in the international development of Jotun, and the experience gained became the platform for Jotun's later development as a major paints manufacturer in the
Middle Eastand South East Asia.
In the late 1960s, times were difficult for Norwegian paint manufacturers. The Norwegian market was saturated with paint manufacturers, competing for a handful of customers. Paint dealers and users may have benefited from this, but the manufacturers did not.
Overhead costs were spiraling, in large part due to excessive marketing costs related to trying to maintain market share. Large sums of money were spent on marketing without any of the largest manufacturers gaining market share or stabilizing the market, it soon became apparent that domestic paint manufacturers were in danger of losing out to large foreign paint manufacturers.
Norway had, and still has, one of the highest levels of paint consumption per capita in the world, and the price and quality level of the products is high. Even as a small market, Norway was tempting to large international manufacturers. The four largest manufacturers in the Norwegian market, "Alf Bjercke A/S", "Fleichers Kjemiske Fabrikker A/S", "A/S De-No-Fa Lilleborg Fabrikker", and "A/S Jotun Odd Gleditsch", increasingly aware of the danger of foreign competition, agreed to merge in August 1971.
Odd Gleditsch junior, then Managing Director of "A/S Jotun", masterminded this plan, and the corporation "A/S Jotungruppen" was created on
January 2, 1972.
Alf Bjercke A/S
Head office in Oslo, a factory for
unsaturated polyesteroutside Oslo, and factories in Swedenand 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
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 timberas well as paint systems for the fishingfleet.
A/S De-No-Fa Lilleborg Fabrikker
The activities in the business areas
paint, varnishand 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
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.
Jotun was named after the Jotuns, a kind of giant featured in
Norse mythology, and the Jotunheimenmountain 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
trolland was for some time replaced by a reindeerin flight with the Jotunheimenmountains in the background. This logo was in turn replaced by a penguin, which suggested Gleditsch's history of whalingin 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.
The company's history has been shaped largely by the family that sits at Jotun's helm: first came Odd Gleditsch senior, then Odd Gleditsch junior, and now Jotun is lead by the third generation, Odd Gleditsch the younger.
*1926: "Jotun Kemiske Fabriker A/S" was founded by Odd Gleditsch sr together with
Ole Aanderud Larsenand 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.
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", "Fleischers Kjemiske Fabrikker", "DeNoFa-Lilleborg"'s paint and synthetic resin business, and "Jotun Odd Gleditsch". Odd Gleditsch jr played a major diplomatic role in bringing about and implementing the merger.
*1976: The fire of
September 15was 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 Sandefjordwas 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
Oslowas 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.
1931: The "Arcanol" patent was acquired and the product subsequently launched. This grey-coloured red
leadhad particularly good rust-inhibiting properties and was a success.
1935: "Femkronerslakken" (the five-"kroner"
varnish) was launched and claimed a special place in the company's history. Jotun was still a small factory that supplied mainly the whalingfleet and some of the shipping companies and yards along the coast from Osloto Kristiansand. Gleditsch wanted to break into the retail market, but this proved difficult. He felt that a good floor varnish could be a real winner and asked his only chemist, Birger Lystad, to come up with the very best varnish possible.
The result was a spectacular varnish, but the expensive raw materials involved meant that the price would be high, at least NOK 4.40 per kg (other varnishes generally sold at around NOK 3.70). Although Gleditsch's colleagues thought that varnish costing NOK 4,40 would never sell, Gleditsch was adamant that the price should be NOK 5! He even referred to the price in the product's name and justified it as follows: "there will always be some people who are willing to pay that little bit extra for excellent quality." He also added: "We will never be rich and we will never be big by competing on price alone." This has been Jotun's philosophy ever since.
1953: "Fenom", a matt thixotropic interior
paintbased on alkyd resin, was launched and proved a major success, enabling Jotun to expand in the retail market. In many ways this product was a breakthrough for the company on account of its application features, adhesion and attractive finish. It enabled consumers to achieve almost professional results themselves.
1954: "Fenolux", a gloss
thixotropicinterior paint, was launched.
1959: "Fenomix", the semi-gloss variant, came onto the market, but not without its problems. Although Odd Gleditsch Sr opposed the semi-gloss variant, sales manager Rolf Ra felt that this was the way to go. He defied the boss's orders and had the paint, packaging and advertising material made up. He was right to do so - "Fenomix" was one of Jotun's biggest success stories ever!
1973: "Demidekk Dekkbeis", a wood protection product based on new technology and a new concept, was launched. Neither a stain nor a paint, it was an enormous success. In 1983 alone it sold 3.4 million litres and between 1973 and 1990 it clocked up huge sales of 30 million litres. however, it was phased out in 1984 on account of plummeting sales triggered by extremely negative media coverage.
1975: The "Seamaster" system, an innovation in
antifoulings for large ships, was launched and enabled ships to go for four years between dry-dockings. Although a sudden drop in freight rates and the launch of self-polishing antifoulings meant that the product was phased out relatively quickly, it played a key role as a door opener to the international shipping industry, which until then had shown very little confidence in Jotun.
1976: "Multicolor", the world's first electronically controlled
paintmixing machine, was launched in Norway. It was the result of a project between Finland's "Tikkurila", which developed the tinter technology, Jotun, which developed the electronic control system, and Americas "Gray Corporation", which developed the mechanical part for the system such as pumps, nozzles, etc.
1985: "Multicolour Futura", the second generation - and the first computer-controlled mixing machine - was launched.
1998: "Colourmaster Futura", the third generation of Multicolor machines, was launched.
1999: The tin-free
antifouling, "SeaQuantum", was launched.
Odd Gleditsch jr.makes an important decision to establish a paint factory in Libya. This was Jotun's first overseas plant. Libya was chosen at the suggestion of the Norwegian Export Council because oilhad been found there in 1959. At the time Libya was a peaceful but relatively poor kingdom; oil was expected to bring rapid growth to the country's economy, and thus greater demand for paint. The new factory opened without problems and Jotun encountered a new and unknown culture. Jotun also learned an important lesson: it is vital to understand and respect the culture of the country you are moving into. This paved the way for future successes.
1968: A new paint factory opens in
Thailand. This was the first of a series of successes in Southeast Asia.
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. This would change with a well-known British company on board.
1974: Jotun acquired "Baltimore Copper Paint Co", a US marine coatings factory.
1975: Jotun UAE in
Dubaiis founded. This was Jotun's second company in an Arab country. The Dubai factory has probably played the greatest role in the internationalisation of Jotun. In this year, Jotun also won the Norwegian Export prize.
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.
1977: "Vera UAE" in
Dubai, a factory for the production of glass fibre-reinforced polyester pipelines, opens.
Thailand" becomes Jotun's first powder coatings company outside Norway.
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 Omanwas formed.
1985: "Jotun Powder Coatings Ltd" is set up in the UK. "Jotun Toz Boya" (powder coatings) in
Turkeywas also taken over. A new marine coatings factory in Flixboroughin the UK came online.
1990s: Expansion continued - the Jotun group became increasingly international.
1990: "Corra-Coat UAE" was founded in
Dubai; "Torné-Jotun" in Spaincame about through the acquisition of Spanish player Industrial Torné; Jotun started manufacturing paint in Australiaas a result of the acquisition of "Denso Dimet".
1991: A marine
coatings factory, "Chokwang Jotun", was established in South Korea; the paint factory "Jotun Boya San ve Tic" was established in Turkey.
Saudi Arabia" was set up. "Jotun Brignola", a marine coatings factory in Italy, was established. "Jotun Ocean Paint Co Ltd" in Chinawas 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: "Corra-Coat (CZ)" in the
Czech Republicopened. Jotun acquired a 25% stake in the Finnish marine coatings factory "Nor-Maali OY". The paint factory "Jotun Abu Dhabi (LLC)" was established. Red Sea Paint and binder factory "Ratinjat" in Saudi Arabiabecame part of the Jotun family.
1996: "P T Jotun
Indonesia" opened and was the first company to manufacture both liquid and powder coatings. It was Jotun's 33rd new factory outside Norway.
1997: Jotun moved into
South Africathrough the establishment of "Jotun Paints South Africa (Pty) Ltd". Jotun decided to build a paint factory in Vietnam.
1998: Jotun's international SHE standard was introduced at all group production plants.
1999: Jotun acquired "Valspar"'s marine operation in
USAand Canada. A new paintand powder coatings factory opened in Thailandand was Jotun's single largest investment to date. A regional laboratory for marine coatings was set up in "South Korea".
2000: Jotun acquired the marine coatings company "PRS Inc" in
USA. A new paint factory opened in Spain.
* [http://www.jotun.com/ Jotun web site] (initial version of "history" section)
*Communication consultant in Jotun (initial version of "The current Jotun Group" section)
* [http://www.jotun.com/ Jotun Group]
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