The inter-war years were tough but Salvesen sold a large number of ships and rode out the difficult period. When the post-war whaling boom ended, Salvesen scaled down its involvement and ended its interest.
Looking for new growth areas, an experiment with a revolutionary trawler to freeze fish while still at sea led to the purchase of the company's first cold store in Grimsby in 1958, a move that coincided with the birth of the frozen food industry in the UK. The firm's fledgling distribution operations grew as customers requested transport for their frozen produce. The business continued to diversify its operations, moving into food freezing facilities, house building and the offshore oil industry in the early 1970s. Salvesen began to concentrate its activities in the Food Services division, opening cold stores, expanding food processing facilities and winning a major frozen food distribution contract for UK retailer Marks & Spencer.
The business grew with the acquisition of Merchants Refrigerating Company in the USA in 1981 and the generator rental company Aggreko in 1984. Aggreko was a success in the 1980s, opening UK depots, growing French operations and expanding into the USA with the acquisition of Electric Rental Systems. ...Show more