Biography Philanthropists

John Fredriksen

John Fredriksen
john fredriksen
Born 10 May 1944 (age 74)
Eidsvoll, Norway
Residence London, England
Nationality Cypriot
Occupation Business magnate
Known for Owner of Golden Ocean Group
Owner of Deep Sea Supply
Shareholder of Overseas Shipholding Group
Net worth US$7.4 billion (April 2018)[1]

John Fredriksen (born 10 May 1944) is a Norwegian-born oil tanker and shipping magnate, who owns the world’s largest oil tanker fleet. He also has major interests in the offshore driller Seadrill, the fish farming company Marine Harvest, the dry bulk company Golden Ocean Group, and the supply vessel company Deep Sea Supply. Through his investment companies Hemen Holdings and Meisha, Fredriksen controls the companies Frontline and Golar LNG. In 2010–2011, Frontline owned 9.6 percent of another large tanker company, Overseas Shipholding Group.[2] North Atlantic Drilling, Sevan Drilling, and Asia Offshore Drilling are partly owned by Seadrill.[3]

Born in Oslo, Norway, Fredriksen is a Cypriot citizen who resides in London.[4][5] Before abandoning his Norwegian citizenship, he was Norway’s richest man.[6] Norwegian magazine Kapital listed Fredriksen in 2013 with a net worth of NOK 69,75 billion (US$11.9 billion).[1][7] In 2012, he was included in the 50 Most Influential list of Bloomberg Markets Magazine. He was named in the top 10 most influential people in the shipping industry according to Lloyds List 2014.[8]



Fredriksen was born on 10 May 1944 to a welder and his wife, and grew up in Etterstad in the eastern half of Oslo.

Fredriksen is a widower and has two daughters: Cecilie (born 1983) and Kathrine Astrup Fredriksen (born 1983). Fredriksen’s former wife, dentist Inger Astrup Fredriksen (died 2006), originally belonged to one of the Astrup families in Norway. Her father was a professor of psychiatry, and her grand uncle was the painter Nikolai Astrup.


Fredriksen made his fortune during the Iran–Iraq War in the 1980s, when his tankers picked up oil at great risk and huge profits. As described by his biographer, “he was the lifeline to the Ayatollah.” Fredriksen would later become the world’s largest tanker owner, with more than seventy oil tankers and major interests in oil rigs and fish farming. His fleet is dominated by costly double-hulled, environmentally safer tankers.[9]

In 2006, Seadrill bought more than 50 percent of Smedvig, gaining control of the company (51.24 percent of the votes and 52.27 percent of the capital). Smedvig is Fredriksen’s biggest ever deal. Noble Corp sold its stake to Seadrill in 2009, leaving Seadrill with full control.[10] Fredriksen has been the majority owner of Vålerenga I.F. for many years.[citation needed]


The Sunday Times Rich List has ranked Fredriksen’s wealth as £475m (2003), £1.050b (2004) and £1.887b (2005). In 2012, Fredriksen and his family were listed as the 9th richest in Britain with a combined wealth of £6.6bn.[11] Fredriksen owns houses in London, Oslo, Cyprus, and Marbella, Spain. He is a collector of classic Norwegian art.[12]


Fredriksen supports research projects at Radium Hospital[13] and has donated several hundreds of millions of Norwegian kroner to medical research at hospitals in Norway.[14]

Gard case[edit]

In 1985, the Norwegian insurance company Gard became suspicious about losses of cargo from Fredriksen’s tankers. A private investigation was initiated, and a system for the use of heavy oil as bunker fuel was revealed.[15] The case was turned over to the Norwegian police and in June 1986 Fredriksen’s offices in Oslo were searched and several of his nearest associates, and after a while also Fredriksen, were placed in detention while the case was investigated.[16]

After several years of arguments between the various lawyers, the case was settled out of court. Fredriksen had to pay a fine of 2 million NOK[17] for risking his crew’s lives, and in addition had to pay the insurance company Gard an amount of over US$800,000.[18]


  1. Jump up to:a b “John Fredriksen”. Forbes.
  2. Jump up^ Bjørn Haugan, Johann D. Sundberg, Lars Magne SunnanåFlytter for døtrene (E24. 11 May 2006) [1]
  3. Jump up^ Hedge, Power (27 January 2015). “Understanding Seadrill’s Complicated Financial Structure: The Asset Side”.
  4. Jump up^ Bowers, Simon (18 March 2013). “The super-rich who have made Cyprus their home” – via
  5. Jump up^ “The Richest Person In Cyprus Is Actually Norwegian”.
  6. Jump up^ De Lange, Grete. Norway’s richest man no longerArchived 8 August 2007 at the Wayback Machine. (Aftenposten. 11 May 2006)
  7. Jump up^ “Kapital 400”. Retrieved 3 May 2013.
  8. Jump up^ “10. John Fredriksen, Seatankers”. 12 December 2014.
  9. Jump up^ Helman, Christopher. “How Shipping King John Fredriksen Found A Port In The Storm”Forbes.
  10. Jump up^ Nina Berglund Smedvig now fully under Fredriksen’s control Archived 29 June 2011 at the Wayback MachineAftenposten; 3 April 2006
  11. Jump up^ “Sunday Times Rich List shows UK’s wealthiest defy recession”BBC News Online. 28 April 2012. Retrieved 28 April 2012.
  12. Jump up^ “John Fredriksen – Bornrich”. 29 May 2012.
  13. Jump up^ “Dept. of Gyn. Oncology – Cancer Medicine – Divisions – Oslo University Hospital Research”
  14. Jump up^ “Messenger boy who became a shipping billionaire”. 9 May 2014.
  15. Jump up^ «For Oslo-advokatene ble Gisvolds reise slutten på den hemmelige etterforskningen. Man hadde nok, og dessuten var det nå bare et tidsspørsmål før Fredriksen fikk kjennskap til granskningen. Følgelig torde man ikke holde på lenger. Juristene anbefalte Gard å gå til politiet med sine mistanker.», fra Storeulv, side 106
  16. Jump up^ «Samme morgen ble de seks arresterte fremstilt for Oslo forhørsrett. Siktelsen var grove oljetyverier og forsikringssvindel for cirka en million kroner.», fra Storeulv, side 125
  17. Jump up^ «John Fredriksen måtte i 1990 godta en bot på to millioner kroner for å ha satt mannskapenes liv i fare ved å bruke olje fra lasten som drivstoff.», fra Storeulv, side 168
  18. Jump up^ «Fredriksen aksepterte å betale Gard 800,000-dollar, pluss halvparten av den Marine Management-konto de hadde tatt beslag i.», fra Storeulv, side 160