Thursday, December 9

The new Minister of Commerce and Industry is worth more than 50 million – E24

Jan Christian Vestre will continue to receive millions in dividends from the family business while he is Minister of Commerce and Industry. He is the second billionaire in the Støre government.

PASSIVE OWNER: Jan Christian Vestre is out of the day-to-day running of the family business.


For the next four years, Jan Christian Vestre (Labor Party) will replace the furniture manufacturer Vestre AS by the Ministry of Trade and Industry.

Vestre, which was established in Haugesund in 1947, produces outdoor furniture and has grown to become an international player. The company is, among other things, behind the furniture in Aker Brygge in Oslo and in Times Square in New York.

Despite a new job, Jan Christian Vestre does not sell the family business.

With a 70 percent ownership stake, Vestre will still be able to raise pay with dividends, the 35-year-old confirms to E24.

– The dividend has been used, among other things, to pay wealth tax on the company’s shares, he writes in an email.

In all the years since the recent Minister of Commerce and Industry took over the company, Vestre AS has paid a moderate portion of the profits to shareholders. In 2014 and 2015, the payment to owners was NOK 2 and 2.5 million, respectively. In all other years, the dividend has been NOK 1.5 million.

– The family could have gotten much higher dividends, but we have chosen to build an environmentally friendly furniture factory, which as far as I know is the largest investment in the Norwegian furniture industry in decades, Vestre writes.

– Has it been tempting to get more dividends?

– No, he does not do it. Most of the profits have been deliberately left with the company in order to invest in new jobs and a new factory. 10 percent of the profits have been donated to sustainability projects and charities, 10 percent of the profits are shared among all employees.

also read

Vestre: – The first order I received when I was 10 years old.

Ever-growing equity

In the nine years that Jan Christian Vestre has led the furniture manufacturer, the family business has grown solidly in both revenue and results.

The group had a turnover of NOK 213 million in 2020, according to accounting figures sent by the acting chairman of the council. Kristoffer Vestre. That’s more than three times more than when the newly appointed Minister of Commerce and Industry took office in 2012.

The same applies to the annual result. In 2020, Vestre made a profit of NOK 22.6 million, compared to NOK 8.7 million in 2012.

Most of the proceeds have been allocated to equity. Therefore, this accounting item has also grown significantly in recent years. In 2020, the registered capital was NOK 142 million.

The debt item, meanwhile, amounted to NOK 85 million.

At the same time, the group’s assets were valued at NOK 227 million. It included NOK 55 million in “bank deposits, cash and the like”.

The 2020 accounts have not yet been processed by Brønnøysund records.

Saved for new factory

The Norwegian part of the Vestre Group consists of the Oslo-based parent company as well as subsidiaries Vestre Produksjon AS and The Plus AS. Both were created last year.

Vestre Produksjon is a purely production company and will earn income from the furniture they produce and sell to subsidiaries, says acting chairman of the board, Kristoffer Vestre.

The Plus company includes the expanded activities in the new production plant of the same name.

– It includes, among other things, a design laboratory and the engineering part of the company, says Kristoffer Vestre.

The Plus is priced at 300 million kronor and will be ready in Magnor, Innlandet County, in a few months.

Kristoffer Vestre says the factory is financed by a combination of loans from Danske Bank and equity.

MAGNOR: This is what the new The Plus factory is supposed to look like.

New York, London and Berlin

Vestre was originally founded in 1947. It wasn’t until five years ago that the company went out into the world and established branches in the United States. It is run by Kristoffer Vestre.

In the following years, subsidiaries have also been established in London and Berlin.

However, all Vestre furniture is produced in Scandinavia, whether in Norway or Sweden.

Jan Christian Vestre has previously expressed his pride that the company has managed to grow without moving a single workplace outside of the two high-cost countries.

– It is not a fact that the more you focus on profitability, the more profitable you become. If you follow your heart and do what is most important to the world, perhaps the payoff will come by itself? I think we are an example of that, said the 35-year-old when last year he received the award for “sustainability of the year” at the annual E24 Leadership Talents award.

also read

Head of Vestre: – We have given up the projects, we do not want to make money with something that we believe is immoral.

Basically the same salary

Fiscal figures from 2016 to 2019 show that Jan Christian Vestre has had income of between NOK 2.5 and 3.3 million.

He claims this has been a combination of salary and dividends, plus board fees, company car, free phone and free training.

The salary as CEO at Vestre exceeded 1.5 million, including compensation, company accounts show.

Therefore, there will be no major changes in the pure salary when you now assume the post of Minister of Commerce and Industry. The current salary for being a member of the government is NOK 1.41 million.

also read

Chairman of the board of Vestre on the ministerial position: – Joy mix of terror

Owns three vintage cars

When it comes to wealth, Jan Christian Vestre is on a separate layer, alongside Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre. Tax figures show that the Ministry of Commerce and Industry is worth NOK 52 million.

– Most of it is Vestre stock. I have a three-room flat at Sandaker in Oslo and a family home on the outskirts of Haugesund, where I was born, plus three vintage cars that I inherited from my father and that he in turn had with him since his youth in the 1960s. When he passed away in 2012, I paid inheritance tax, Vestre writes.

It states that it does not own any other shares or have fund securities.

– I was asked to be Minister of Commerce and Industry because I have first-hand knowledge and experience of a profitable export company. I am out of any Vestre operation and I want to be a completely passive owner.

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