Our history

Holta Invest AS was established in 1983 while the Holta family’s industrial adventures started almost 100 years earlier. Active ownership has been in our DNA from the inception up until today. More than 100 years of experience has taught us that active ownership makes a difference.

The industrial adventures started almost 100 years earlier, when the two brothers Ole and Hans Holta decided to develop hydro power from the local waterfalls in the eastern part of Telemark.

The area was not connected to a power grid as it is today and the power had to be consumed locally. Therefore they decided to try to smelt iron ore electrolytically. This turned out to be a success, at least from a technical point of view. However, they struggled financially over many years and tried many other smelting processes, amongst them Calcium Carbide.

It was not until many years later, in the 1950-60’s, the group of companies managed to gain some financial strength. By that time, Tinfos Jernverk - the main company within the group, was one of the dominating metal producers in Norway.

The 1970’s and 1980’s had some good years, but mostly it was a fight to keep the business going and alive. Production at the Notodden site had some major competitive disadvantages with its location far from the coast and had to close down in 1986 in order to save the company. However, the site at Kvinesdal was profitable and in the late 90’s it was further expanded with one more furnace, thus increasing the production capacity by 50%.

Much later, when Kjetil Holta had gained control over the Tinfos group in 2002, Holta Invest AS started to develop into what it is today. The first step in the new direction outside its old industrial background was the investment in Tennant Insurance Group AB, Sweden. Several other new investments were made during this period and later divested during 2007-2010. The sale of Tinfos to the French metallurgical group Eramet in 2008 was the most significant.

Today Holta Invest is an investment company headquartered in Oslo, Norway. The group is engaged in various activities globally with about 250 employees

Books about the Holta family

Image of Holta in 4 generations

Holta in 4 generations

Tinfos is the story of serial entrepreneurs who, with pioneering spirit and enthusiasm, created an industrial adventure of international proportions, based on a small pulp mill and a small paper factory at Notodden in 1894. With Kjetil Holta at the helm, Holta Invest AS celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2013. The company became the majority shareholder of Tinfos in 2000 and sold its shares to Eramet in 2008. There have been 30 eventful years with major changes.