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Hilmar A(ugust) Reksten (1897–1980) was a Norwegianmarker shipping magnate. After studying business in Cologne, he started his own company in 1929. Reksten showed a remarkable capacity for investments; by the time of World War II he had six ships in operation, and he managed to escape Bergen and flee to Britain, joining Nortraship.

After the war he kept expanding his business and in 1974 the company had ships carrying . At this point Reksten’s was the third largest shipping company in Norway - second only to Bergesen and Jahre - and thereby also one of the largest in the world. The good fortune was not to last, however, as the 1970s crisis in international oil shipping struck, and Reksten had just months prior bought the fleet of shipowner Erling Dekke Næss for $208 million.

Reksten was hit hard, and in 1975 the Norwegian state had to take over a great portion of the company’s stocks. In 1979 he was also convicted of tax fraud, declared bankrupt post mortem, and the bankruptcy proceedings went on until 1993.


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