Lange: op. cit., København 1995, p. 45ff.
Salomon J. Frifelt: op. cit., København 1939, p. 154,
248ff, 412ff. samt
samt skrivelse af 18/12-2009
betitlet "Lauritzen-gruppen forenkler koncernstruktur", sig-
neret Jens Ditlev Lauritzen. I tillæg til Lauritzen-gruppens
rederi-, transport- og logistikaktiviteter har LF Investment
ApS aktier i en række virksomheder inden for olieanalyse,
måleinstrumenter, software, bioteknologi og ejendomme.
Morten Hahn-Pedersen: Danish North Sea Passenger
Lines since 1850, i Hahn-Pedersen, Morten (ed.):
Sea Passenger Lines
, Esbjerg 2009, p. 34ff, Morten Hahn-
Pedersen: op. cit., Esbjerg 2001, p. 119ff., Ole Lange: op.
cit., København 1995, p. 223ff.
Ditlev Lauritzen (1859-1935) was one of the entrepreneurs
who realised the need to exploit the opportunities which ap-
peared with the establishment of Esbjerg Harbour. Lauritzen
was a merchant, and it was as a merchant that he established
himself in Esbjerg’s expanding construction market in the
mid-1880s, selling timber and coal and later also builders’
supplies. But he quickly saw the potential which lay in the
growing cooperative movement, and he soon started to im-
port fodder and artificial fertiliser, and exported butter to
the areas with which he was doing business. The company’s
growing turnover led to an increased need for tonnage and
the gaining of control over the freight costs, and Lauritzen
gradually turned to steam ships which, despite continuing
investments in trade and later also industry, finished up be-
ing his most important activity. His involvement in the for-
mation of a local telephone company and two local banks
also indicates a person with an eye for providing the new
town with infrastructure and institutions which met his com-
mercial needs. However, he didn’t manage to avoid failed
investments: his investments in both the fishing and trading
company Islandsk-Færøisk Kompagni (the Icelandic-Fae-
roese Company) and the shipping line Scandia failed.
Lauritzen ran his business via an extensive network. The
Fanø Island captain Søren Meinertz was a partner in sev-
eral of Lauritzen’s initiatives – not least in relation to steam
ships – and the Breinholts were among the many local Esb-
jergers with whom he had business dealings. But Lauritzen
also built up contacts beyond Esbjerg – primarily in West
Jutland, but also in Copenhagen – and depending on the na-
ture of the individual initiative, managements and boards
of directors were comprised on the basis of the members’
ability to contribute capital or expertise. To manage his own
companies, Lauritzen typically recruited people with both a
knowledge of, and business sense in, the area – even if suit-
able candidates had to be imported from abroad, as was the
case with the managers of the steam ship companies Jylland
and Dania.
Lauritzen constantly extended his own activities through-
out the 1880s, but during the 1890s he changed style and
began to separate the biggest business areas into separate
companies with their own managements, thus facilitating
his overview of the many activities, but he retained control
as chairman of the boards of directors of the companies.
The same strategy was followed when he entered hitherto
uncharted areas, where he also exerted his influence via
shareholdings or control via a chairmanship of the board of
directors, depending on the size of the investment.
But in the steamship company Vesterhavet, Lauritzen
placed himself firmly at the rudder right from the start via a
genuine double role as both chairman of the board of direc-
tors and general manager. Lauritzen strengthened his posi-
tion over the years as principal shareholder in the company,
whose strategy was controlled expansion with a high degree
of own financing and limited borrowing. New tonnage was
procured when the market was low, loans were only taken
out on favourable terms, and building up equity was helped
by limited allocations of dividends to shareholders relative
to the size of the profit which was gained. In a mere 15
years, this strategy made Vesterhavet one of Denmark’s big-
gest shipping lines. From a simple merchant, Lauritzen had
become a ship owner, and as such his business needs were
such that in 1914, his business headquarters had to move to
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