This year it will have been 30 years since Thor Spandow (79) founded Spabo Eiendom. He still refers to himself as an entrepreneur. It’s in his DNA.
A few years ago, Spabogruppen underwent a generational shift. Business operations were transferred to the three children, but Thor still serves as the CEO of the group, and, not least: He is still an entrepreneur.
“The children and I are serial entrepreneurs. Each company, or each property, is a new entrepreneurial project. We are not speculators; we are developers and administrators. We purchase older properties, renovate them and develop them. We build new business areas from the bottom up, or acquire and develop smaller companies. It’s all about creating value and entering into long-term investments.”
Rolf Widerøe (uncle) developed the megavolt radiation therapy technologies currently used in cancer treatment. Viggo Widerøe (uncle) founded the Norwegian airline Widerøe. Else Widerøe (mother) established the company Contact Service in 1948, from which Amesto grew.
Contact Service communicated secretary jobs to foreigners who came to Norway after the Second World War, and later expanded into the temporary staffing industry. Thor took over operations in 1980, in parallel to his position as CEO of Noack Batterier (later Varta). Contact Service evolved into Norsk Personal Gruppen together with partner Lars B. Gjerde, which subsequently became Olsten Personal Norden. This company was eventually sold to Adecco in 2001. At the time it was sold, the company was the second largest recruitment agency in the Nordic countries, with an annual turnover of NOK 2.1 billion.
Thor has always been interested in property, but solely as a hobby at first. When Adecco bought out the owners of what was then named Olsten Personal Norden, Thor invested NOK 150 million of the profits into the family’s property company.
And then the children awoke!