Who is Petter Stordalen, the strawberry seller turned billionaire and hotel chain owner?

Petter Stordalen He is a billionaire businessman who owns the largest hotel chain in all of Scandinavia. From humble beginnings, the man born in Porsgrunn on November 29, 1962 entered the world of business early.

With assets exceeding $1 billion, the tycoon owns Strawberry group, a conglomerate spanning hotels, restaurants, shopping malls, real estate, finance and the arts. Through the group the Norwegian owns Nordic Choice Hotelswhich includes more than 200 hotels of all categories and 17,000 employees in all Scandinavian countries.

At the age of 10, the businessman helped his father sell products in the family business, and at the age of 12 he became “the best strawberry seller in the country” after being baptized in his hometown newspaper “Porsgrunns Dagblad”. When he was a strawberry salesman (hence the name of his band), his father taught him a life lesson that stuck with him forever: “Sell the strawberries you have, they’re the only ones you can sell,” after he complained about some they weren’t in the best condition.From that day and with this motto, the tycoon realized that he needed to make the most of what he had. Thanks to this, Petter built a huge economic empire.

After school, the businessman began to delve a little deeper into the world of business and studied marketing at the Norwegian School of Marketing: look at how his path went.

How Petter Stordalen, one of Norway’s richest men, made his fortune

At 24, the businessman took over City Syd, one of the country’s largest shopping centers, and became Norway’s youngest commercial manager. Having shown excellent results as a manager, he entered the world of business, holding important positions in various companies, such as director of real estate in Made by Atl Brynestadbrand management Bic Bock among other things.

After participating in various transactions in the Brynestad system, Stordalen joined a development company at the age of 29 RealCredit (later known as DnB). Together with a company of investors, he acquired Steen and Strom important trade in the center of Oslo. This acquisition marked the beginning of a series of acquisitions. Within three years, the newly created Steen and Strom Invest He became the largest owner of commercial real estate in the country. However, expansion was stopped in 1996 when Stordalen had disagreements with the main shareholder, Stein Eric Hagenand was forced to resign as CEO.

After leaving Steen & Strøm Invest, Stordalen became an investor partner. Kristen Sveaas. In October 1996 acquired a 68% stake in the Scandinavian division of Choice Hotels.. At that time, the chain had 8 hotels throughout Scandinavia. Following the acquisition, Stordalen embarked on an expansion phase, following the strategy used in Steen & Strøm Invest, purchasing the Home hotel chain in Sweden and the InterNor hotel company in Norway and taking Choice Hotels Scandia public.

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Over the course of three years, Choice Hotels Scandia acquired an average of one new hotel every two weeks and added 50 employees every 10 days. In 1999, Stordalen also acquired several hotels in Sweden and Denmark, including the Nordisk Hotel Group in Denmark, the Stenungsbaden Yacht Club and the Stockholm Globe Hotel.

At 37, Stordalen became a multimillionaire. In 2012, it opened its largest hotel to date, the 500-room, 40,000-square-meter Clarion Post Hotel in Gothenburg, Sweden. The 231-room Art Deco Somerro Hotel opened in Oslo in 2022. Located in Frogner, one of the city’s oldest districts, the hotel is the first in Oslo to offer a swimming pool and rooftop terrace, as well as a cinema, several restaurants and bars, a library and a sauna.

Over time, the name Choice Hotels Scandinavia was changed to Nordic Choice Hotels.

Hotel Stordalen, which started with eight hotels, has grown into one of the largest hotel chains in Scandinavia with more than 200 hotels and 17,000 employees.

Likewise, after a series of strategic moves and acquisitions, he founded the company Strawberry group, a conglomerate that includes not only hotels, but also shopping malls, real estate, arts and investments. The Stordalen group of companies includes: Strawberry Hospitality Group, Strawberry Advisory, Strawberry Properties and Strawberry Art & Design,

Petter Stordalen’s net worth in 2024

The resounding success he achieved through his business brought the millionaire a fortune of approximately 1.3 billion dollars, occupying position number 2371 in the ranking compiled by the prestigious Forbes magazine..

Although Stordalen has left a majority stake in the powerful conglomerate to his children since 2018, the Norwegian continues to run the company behind the scenes as he vowed to run the company until his death.

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Although Stordalen is a successful businessman, his interests are not only focused on money. Additionally, Petter is an activist who professes an interest in other people and the environment. The Norwegian mega-entrepreneur advocates for a society that unites everyone under the idea of ​​sustainable capitalism. Likewise, Petter is not against paying taxes because he believes they are “beneficial” as long as they are used for noble purposes. Even with his wife Gunhild Stordalen, with whom he had a famous five-million-dollar wedding in Marrakech, they created a foundation (The Stordalen Foundation), through which the couple gave large sums of money to various social and environmental causes.

Likewise, the tycoon is concerned about the environment, about which he likes to say: “All companies, all countries should make small investments. Because if we cross the line, it will be too late.”

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