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Congratulations on 105 years!

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On 17 October 1916, the company a/s Frydenbø Slip & mek. Verksted was formally established - 105 years ago! Frydenbø Group is still a family-owned company, but it has grown into a large and sustainable corporation - a significant player within the business areas; Automotives, Marine Industry, Real Estate and Marine.

In October 1916, Karl Gjøvaag and three of his companions agreed to start a company. The purpose, which was later enshrined in the statutes, reads as follows: "§ The purpose of the company is the operation of hauling slips, mechanical workshops, repair of engines, machinery and related activities."

The story of Frydenbø is a tale about courage, entrepreneurial spirit and a long-term perspective. At the same time, it is the account of demanding priorities and personal trials. Every business owner knows that running a business is not a job. It is a lifestyle that affects the whole family.

Through 105 years, the Gjøvaag family and the Frydenbø company has defied adversities and falling markets, fought through wars and revolutions and dealt with competition and economic conditions. This has yielded results.

For three generations, the Gjøvaag family has seen opportunities - and seized them. The first one out was Karl Gjøvaag, who in the early 1900s left his hometown Gjøvaag in Tysvær and travelled to the city to create his own future. In 1916, he created the foundation for this company. Through a long life, he built a solid foundation for a viable business.

His son, Hans Erik Gjøvaag, continued the legacy from his father. In collaboration with senior, he laid the foundation for Frydenbø becoming a large international business. From repairing ships, development and the production of steering machines came to be an increasingly more important part of the business. It became the foundation for an adventurous growth and commercial success.

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It is said that within family businesses, the first generation builds the foundation, the second generation maintains it and the third generation tears it all down. Frydenbø's history is a great example of showing that this thesis is not correct! Third generation Knut Herman Gjøvaag has consolidated Frydenbø's position as a serious business based in Bergen with activity throughout all of Norway, with customers in large parts of the world. In addition to a solid growth in turnover, he has ensured that the company now has several pillars to support it.

It is said that the start-up as a Volvo dealer in Bergen in the early 1990s was Knut Herman's test in the family business. He passed that test with flying colours. The fact that Frydenbø today has become a household name, which all westerners have a relationship to, is probably largely due to the fact that the group's car dealers have succeeded well. Frydenbø's success includes far more than the car business and extends beyond the seven seas.

Frydenbø's story shows what is possible to achieve when you dare to see opportunities, dare to invest and take good care of your employees. This is what Frydenbø has done for three generations.


Text from Frydenbø's anniversary book.


Read: Wishes for a magical atmosphere at the Frydenbø grandstand!


Read more about Frydenbø here


Ola Nordmann


Frydenbø AS