Aspo's History

Aspo's roots go back to 1929 when Asunto-osakeyhtiöitten Polttoaine Osuuskunta started operating by importing coke required by building associations for central heating.

The operation slowly expanded into transportation, shipping and the distribution of chemicals. Aspo acquired its first vessel in 1949 and started the establishment of a chemicals unit at the end of the 1960s. In the 1970s, Aspo's operations further expanded into electronics.

In October 1999, the company demerged into two independent listed companies: Aspo that specialized in industrial logistics services, and Aspocomp that focused on electronics. Since this structural change, Aspo has consistently strengthened all of its business areas. The company was promoted to a higher league in spring 2008 through the acquisition of Kauko-Telko Oy from Kesko.

Currently, Aspo has three strong business brands in leading positions in their sectors: ESL Shipping, Leipurin and Telko. Aspo aims to achieve sustainable long-term growth by reinvesting received profit in productive applications and by taking steps towards a compounder profile. Here, corporate arrangements are a key part of value creation, and the aim is to create growth and an income flow through them.

ESL Shipping leads the way in providing industrial customers with environmentally friendly marine transport and aims to develop a fully fossil-free service in the future. The investment in twelve Green Coaster electric hybrid vessels in 2022 was an important step toward lower-emission marine transport. The first vessel was delivered in December 2023, and around three new vessels on average will be in operation during 2024. To finance its growth and accelerate its green transition, ESL Shipping entered into an agreement with OP Suomi Infra Ky on an investment of EUR 30 million in 2023. With the investment, OP Finland Infrastructure LP became a minority shareholder in the company. In February 2024, Varma Mutual Insurance Company made a co-investment of EUR 15 million alongside OP Infra. These investments and future measures enable ESL Shipping to accelerate its green transition. 

Telko is seeking strong growth both organically and through acquisitions. Aspo’s vision is to grow Telko into a leading European player in distribution of specialty products in Europe. In 2023, Telko acquired Eltrex, a Polish special chemicals and industrial packaging materials distribution company, thus supplementing its business portfolio in Poland, which was previously focused on chemical distribution. 

Leipurin is continuing to improve its performance by further developing its commercial operations, supply chains and procurement. 



Asunto-osakeyhtiöitten Polttoaine Osuuskunta is founded


The first vessel, m/s Arkadia, is acquired to mainly transport coal and coke.


Etelä-Suomen Laiva Oy is founded.


GHH is acquired and trade in the east is started. The company starts to trade in oil.


A lubricant unit is founded.


The first motorized vessel, m/s Malmi, is acquired.


A single brand is set for products of GHH and Asunto-osakeyhtiöitten Polttoaine Osuuskunta: ASPO.


GHH starts to represent steel sheets made by Rautaruukki.


The establishment of the chemicals unit starts.


The office building for all business units is built in Herttoniemi.


The shipping company takes delivery of its first newbuilding: m/s Eira.


The company expands into electronics. Aspoyhtymä Oy is founded.


The company structure is clarified by centralizing commercial activities in Aspo. The name of GHH is changed to Aspo Oy.


The first steel service center is set up in Järvenpää. Henrik Nyberg is appointed CEO of Aspo and Aatos Vehmas is appointed chairman of the Board of Directors.


A chemical terminal is acquired in Rauma.


The shipping company takes delivery of the largest vessel in its history, m/s Kontula. The shipping company's tonnage increases to 100,000 dwt.


Aspo Oy's shares are quoted on the brokerage list.


Oil operations are sold to Neste.


The transition business and chemical terminal are established in Kotka.


Functions of the component unit are merged into Aspocomp Oy.


Steel trade is relocated under the joint venture Asva.


Aspoyhtymä Oy becomes the Group's parent company. Operations are transferred to subsidiaries. The incorporation of the chemical group gives birth to Aspokem Oy and Sonmarin Oy. The name of the shipping company is changed to ESL Shipping Oy.


Service station and marine systems are merged under Aspo Systems Oy Aspoyhtymä Oy's shares are quoted on the official list. Aspokem establishes a subsidiary in Tallinn and sets up a representative office in St. Petersburg.


Asva is sold to Rautaruukki and steel trade is discontinued. Aspokem founds subsidiaries in Latvia and Lithuania. Sales offices in St. Petersburg and Moscow in Russia.


Demerger into two separate listed companies: Aspocomp Group Plc and Aspo Plc. Gustav Nyberg is appointed CEO of Aspo Plc. Aspo has three businesses: Chemicals, Shipping and Systems.


Aspokem establishes a subsidiary in St. Petersburg. Marine navigation business is incorporated into Navintra Oy.


The shipping company takes delivery of a new m/s Eira from Japan.


The shipping company acquires Travans, a pusher transportation company. Navintra is sold to Furuno. Autotank from Sweden is acquired.


Aspo's office building in Herttoniemi is sold.


Aspokem establishes a subsidiary in Ukraine.


Aspokem establishes a subsidiary in Sweden.


Aspokem acquires Wilfert Chemical Nordic, a Danish supplier of plastic raw materials. M/s Arkadia is sold.


Autotank is sold and Kauko-Telko Oy is acquired. Now, Aspo has four businesses: ESL Shipping, Leipurin, Telko and Kauko.


Aki Ojanen is appointed CEO of Aspo Plc and Gustav Nyberg is appointed Chairman of the Board of Directors. M/s Kontula is sold. Leipurin expands to Siberia, Tatarstan and Ukraine.


ESL Shipping places the largest vessel order in its history by ordering two Supramax vessels. Leipurin grows through an acquisition in Latvia and expands its operations to Kazakhstan. Telko expands to Kazakhstan and Belarus.


ESL Shipping takes delivery of m/s Alppila. Leipurin acquires Vulganus Oy.


ESL Shipping takes delivery of Supramax vessels. M/s Hesperia is sold.


ESL Shipping signs a long-term transportation agreement with SSAB and orders two LNG-fueled bulk carriers.


Aspo’s net sales reached EUR 500 million


The acquisition of Swedish shipping company AtoB@C


New energy-efficient LNG vessels


Operations in 18 countries


ESL Shipping’s new electrid hybrid vessels were ordered.


Decision to exit Russia and other selected eastern markets.


Leipurin acquired Swedish Kobia.


Kauko and Vulganus were divested.

Updated: 07.03.2024