Claus Sorensen’s Fund was established in 1964 by CEO, pioneer and salvage contractor Claus Sørensen.
The Fund is a commercial foundation which wholly or partly owns the following subsidiaries through its subsidiary Claus Sørensens Fond Holding A/S:
• Blikas A/S
• Claus Sørensen A/S
• Claus Sørensen Ejendomme A/S
• VIKING Life-Saving Equipment A/S
and associated companies:
• Esbjerg Frysehus I/S
• Forsknings- og Udviklingsparken Vest A/S
• EfB Elite A/S
• Vestfrost A/S
In 2012, the Fund allocated DKK 16.4 million to non-profit causes and descendants, divided between 246 recipients.
The founder of the Fund – the visionary father of fishing.
With his enterprising nature and ability to innovate, Claus Sørensen was an influential figure in the fishing industry and related industries, not only his hometown of Esbjerg but also in most of the North Atlantic region.
He also made his mark on a number of Danish fishing ports, where he established iceworks and cold stores, which later became the backbone of
the Claus Sørensen Group. In his organisational work, Sørensen played a significant role in connection with the decision to construct a port in Hanstholm.
Claus Sørensen in brief:
• Director and pioneer of the fishing industry, and salvage contractor. R.
• Born 2 February 1888 on the island of Langli in Ho bugt bay
• Son of farmer and fisherman Jeppe Christian and Johanne (née Madsen)
• Married Antoinette K. Karstensen on 22 August 1913 in Sønder Omme
• The couple had six children
After his confirmation, Claus Sørensen started work as a North Sea fisher-man, but just four years later he travelled to America, where, from 1906–1908, he worked as a salmon fisherman and lumberjack on the Pacific coast. He returned to Esbjerg and bought his first cutter, which was soon replaced by a succession of larger boats. In 1917, a stomach ailment forced him to stop work as a fisherman and instead concentrate on managing his rapidly growing companies, which were largely fishery-related.
In 1916, he also began to take on salvage tasks and established the first salvage station on the West Coast of Denmark with a view to salvaging fishing vessels. A joint venture with Svitzer began in 1925, when Claus Sørensen became an inspector for the company on the West Coast of Denmark. Fishing was still the heart and core of his enterprise, and he was a pioneer in many areas.
In 1926, he started fishing off Iceland with three vessels, including the first two Danish steel cutters. He then became a pioneer in fishing south of Greenland, in the Barents Sea and on the Newfoundland Banks.
The fishing off Greenland culminated in 1948 with the establishment of A/S Grønlandske Fiskeri Compagni, which set up four freezer plants and had its own freezer vessel serving the smaller sites. After a number of difficulties, the facilities were leased to the Royal Greenland Trading Department. Claus Sørensen’s son, fish exporter Frede Sørensen, worked hard in Greenland for many years for the Greenland initiative.
Early on, Claus Sørensen had recognised the importance of iceworks and cold stores to the fishing industry, and from 1926 onwards, he took the initiative either to buy up or to establish all of the iceworks from Frederikshavn and Skagen to Hirtshals, Hanstholm, Thyborøn, Esbjerg and Rømø. He had interests in boatyards and rescue equipment. He was also co-owner of trout ponds at home and abroad.
Claus Sørensen was inventive by nature – a man who spotted many new opportunities. He invented the hauling gear that would prove so important to the fishermen on the Thy coast.
Claus Sørensen was the natural choice of chairman for the Vestjysk Fiskeri-forening (west Jutland fishing association) from 1936–1943, where he did a great job of getting the older vessels taken out of service and replacing them, and he also had a seat on the Board for the renewal of the fishing fleet during the same period, as well as a seat on the Board of the Fisheries Council. He was a member of Hanstholm Committee of 1956, and he played a significant role in the construction of the port of Hanstholm.
In 1943, he was nominated for the Order of the Dannebrog. In 1958, he was awarded the initiative diploma of the National Association for Danish Enter-prise, Dansk Arbejde, and a year later the honorary award of the city of Es-bjerg.
Sørensen remained active until his death on 29 July 1976 in Esbjerg, where he is buried.
He published his memoirs in four volumes in the 1970s. In 1979, a supple-mentary volume was published.
The second generation – Esbjerg’s great entrepreneur:
Since the foundation of the Claus Sørensen’s Fund in 1964, Tage Sørensen has been a member of the Fund’s Board. After the death of his father Claus Sørensen in 1976, Tage Sørensen took over as Chairman of the Fund.
After graduating with an MSc in Economics and holding various positions in the shipping industry and the housing sector in Copenhagen, Tage Sørensen moved back to his home town of Esbjerg in 1946, where he was appointed manager of his father’s business.
He didn’t remain in his father’s shadow for long, however. A couple of years after taking office, he established Premier Dybfrost, a company that sold frozen berries and vegetables in freezer containers. The following decade he set up two fisheries-related businesses, Vestjysk Sildeolieindustri and Lumino Fabrikken.
In the 1960s, Tage Sørensen participated in the establishment of two industrial companies, A/S Nordisk Gummibådsfabrik and A/S Vestfrost, which would develop into some of Esbjerg’s largest and most significant companies in the decades that followed. Under the name of VIKING Life-Saving Equipment A/S, the former is now one of the world’s leading suppliers of maritime security.
During the same period, the parent company, Claus Sørensen A/S, con-tinued its expansion and is now the leading cold store and freezer plant chain in Denmark.
In 2010, at the age of 95, Tage Sørensen opted to stand down as Chairman of the Fund and withdraw from the Board. His successor in the chair was An-nette Bjerring Kristensen, his daughter.
Tage Sørensen in brief:
• Born 5 December 1915 in Esbjerg
• Son of director Claus Sørensen (died 1976) and Antoinette Sørensen
(née Karstensen) (died 1980)
• Married Alice Sørensen (26.12.1915–2012) in Copenhagen on 31 May
1941, daughter of master tailor Christian Olsen (died 1949) and
Sørine Olsen (née Bjerring) (died 1949)
• Lower secondary school leaving exam (Esbjerg Statsskole), 1932
• Trainee journalist at the Vestkysten newspaper, 1932
• Studied at University College, Nottingham, 1933
• Student (Skindergades Studenterkursus), 1935
• MSc Economics, 1941
• Employed at shipping company Albert Jensen A/S, 1941
• Secretary of Københavns Alm. Boligselskab (property company),
• Accounts clerk for Byggesocietetet for Danmark (property society),
• Business Manager at Claus Sørensens rederi- og fabrikationsvirksomhed
(shipping and manufacturing company), 1946
• Founder of Viking Life-Saving Equipment A/S in 1960 and Chairman of
the same company, 1960–2010
• Co-founder of Vestfrost A/S in 1963
• Director of A/S Claus Sørensen from 1976–93 and Chairman of the
• Chairman of Esbjerg KFUM’s executive committee, 1953–73
• Member of the main board of the KFUM scouts, 1961–63
• Member of Esbjerg City Council (Venstre – the Danish Liberal Party),
• Deputy Mayor, spokesman for the Venstre-Konservative (Liberal-
Conservative) city council group, 1962–66
• Director, MSc Economics, R¹.
Chairman of the Board of Tage Sørensen Esbjerg A/S and Alice and Tage Sørensen’s Fund.
Tage Sørensen and his wife Alice have for many years supported Fanø Art Museum through donations to the museum’s art collection and expansion
of the museum.
Tage Sørensen has written books on Esbjerg in art and on the Scout Movement.
Co-author of: Martin Spangsberg. A Danish explorer in Russian service (1999); Martin Spangsberg: A Danish Explorer in Russian Service (2002).
Tage Sørensen’s Martin Spangsberg library was established at the Fisheries and Maritime Museum in Esbjerg, 2000.
Granted Esbjerg City’s Honorary Award in 1989
Den Hvide Lilje (the white lily) from the KFUM Scouts in Denmark in 1991
Jydske Vestkysten’s (newspaper) Culture Award in 1999
Esbjerg Business Development Centre’s Honorary Award in 2004.
Tage Sørensen died in 2016 at the age of 100 years. Tage Sørensen was present at the office every day undtil a few years before his death.
Claus Sørensens Fond
In 2017 Claus Sørensens Fond donatede 27 million d.kr. to 86 different local projects and initiatives and for decendents of Claus Sørensen.
Read more about the fund:
"Blika A/S was founded in 1947 and manufac-tures intelligent storage solutions. The products are characterized by high quality and func-tionality."Read more
"Claus Sorensen A / S is Denmark's leading refri-geration and cold store group with branches well located in relation to Danish food produ-cers and the country's leading fishing ports."Read more
"VIKING Life-Saving Equipment A/S is the global market leader in production, sales and service of safety and survival equipment."Read more
"Vestfrost Solutions is a global developer of in-novative and efficient refrigerators and free-zers for the professional market."Read more
"Claus Sørensen Ejen-domme A/S rent out 158 well renovated an centrally located apart-ments in Esbjerg and offers 420.000 sq.ft of commercial leases."Read more