From muskets, pistols and armour via brass and textiles to paper, paperboard and wood products – a great deal has happened since Duke Johan of Östergötland established what was to eventually become Holmen in Norrköping in 1609.

400 years of creating future

Like many other old Swedish companies, we have our roots in activities based around access to water, ore and later forests. The history of Holmen began 1609 with an arms factory on the island of Kvarnholmen in Motala Ström. Kvarnholmen is also the place that gave us our name.

Iggesund’s history can be traced back to the same century, when Östanå Paper Mill became the first industrial facility in the region. The mid-1700s saw the birth of what was eventually to become MoDo, when the Mo water-powered sawmill in Söderåfors began operating for the first time. Over the years, many businesses have come and gone, but it is clear that few companies can trace as long and illustrious a history as Holmen.


Significant dates and events

1609 Duke Johan of Östergötland lays the foundation for Holmen’s Bruk in Norrköping by building a munitions factory on the island of Kvarnholmen in the waters of Motala Ström.

1633 Holmens Bruk’s first mill for handmade paper is established on the island of Laxholmen in Motala Ström.

1685 Isak Breant the elder is given permission to set up an ironworks by the Iggesund River and Iggesunds Bruk is born.

1771 Iggesund Mill acquires Östanå Paper Mill.

1837 Holmens Bruk brings its first paper machine into production on Kvarnholmen.

1873 The Mo Bruksägare partnership is reconstituted as Mo och Domsjö AB.

1870 Iggesund Mill’s sawmilling era begins with a large water-powered sawmill in Iggesund.

1903 Mo och Domsjö’s first pulp factory opens in Domsjö.

1907 Holmen’s shares are floated on the Stockholm Stock Exchange.

1915 Holmens Bruk’s new newsprint mill in Hallstavik commences production.

1917 Iggesund Mill commissions Sweden’s first sulphite and sulphate pulp mill.

1963 Iggesund Mill’s first paperboard machine begins production.

1977 Braviken Paper Mill begins producing newsprint.

1986 Holmens Bruk’s paper mill in central Norrköping shuts down, bringing to an end the industrial age on the islands in Motala Ström after 377 years of unbroken activity.

1987 Iggesund buys Thames Board Ltd, a British paperboard company. The purchase includes Workington Sawmill Ltd’s sawmill.

1988 Mo och Domsjö AB, Holmens Bruk AB and AB Iggesunds Bruk merges under the name Modo.

1993 L E Lundbergföretagen becomes MoDo’s new main shareholder.

1999 MoDo and SCA merge their fine paper and wholesaling operations to form the fine paper group Modo Paper.

2000 Modo Paper is sold. Holmen AB replaces Mo och Domsjö AB as the name of the parent company.

2001 The paperboard products from Workington are given the new ‘family name’ of Incada.

2002 The new paper machine PM 11 is brought on stream at Hallsta Paper Mill.

2006 Inauguration of the new newsprint machine PM 62 at Holmen Paper Madrid.

2008 Production ceases at Holmen’s paper mill in Wargön and the operation is shut down. This brings to an end 135 years of paper production at the mill.

2010/2011 Braviken Sawmill is commissioned at the turn of the year.

2013 Production ceases on Holmen’s paper machines PM 51 in Braviken and PM 3 in Hallstavik.

2014 Henrik Sjölund becomes CEO of the Holmen Group. Varsvik wind farm near the paper mill in Hallstavik comes on stream.

2017 Holmen acquires Linghem Sawmill.

2018 The wood treatment plant at Braviken Sawmill opens.