Roots back to 1898

Today Foinco is owned by the third generation Fossum family with roots back to 1898 when O.O. Bull established the trading company O.O. Bull & Co. The company offered a very broad range of goods, from top hats and gold watches to iron and ships. At the beginning of the 1900’s, O.J. Storm joined the company as a partner and the company changed its name to Storm, Bull & Co. The company’s main products remained iron and steel and later on included more general building materials.

In 1914 the two partners split the company in two, O. J. Storm lead A/S Storm & Bull Ltd. which focussed on export and O. O. Bull lead A/S Stormbull, which concentrated on the sale of steel and building materials.

Under Bernt Fossums leadership from 1928, and later under the leadership of his two sons Bernt J. Fossum and Per W. Fossum, Stormbull grew into a nationwide business group.

In 1978 Stormbull merged with its biggest competitor, Gustaf Aspelin AS, and the Aspelin Stormbull Group was established. In the middle of the 1980’s the group’s main activities were sold, and the remaining group was de-merged I 1988. As a result of the de-merger the two brothers, Bernt J. Fossum and Per W. Fossum established their own companies, Foinco AS and Stormbull AS.

Foinco from the second to third generation

At a very early stage Foinco invested in major ownership stakes in a variety of businesses and industries. Active ownership was exercised primarily through active board participation. In the 1990’s Foinco was for example sole shareholder in Volvat Medisinske Senter, largest shareholder in Søndenfjeldske and had a controlling interest in Iplast which was later sold to Mikron AG.

The period at the end of the 1990’s was characterised by a major expansion in the portfolio. As a consequence the risk profile of the business as a whole increased and by 2002 it was decided to reduce exposure to early stage companies and focus on more mature businesses. In the period from 2000 – 2002 the handover to the next generation was implemented and Bernt J. Fossums’ five daughters have owned Foinco in equal shares through their individual companies since then.