A serious crisis
In the autumn of 1982 the state of the shipping market takes a downward turn. Refrigerated shipping continues quite well but with a weak outlook and Dry Cargo struggles forward on a weak market and the tanker operation’s losses are expected to eat up the whole of the year’s profits. At the same time other group assets are sold off, such as TOR Line, the Salén House and JS Saba. In this position, Mats Ruhne gets his way to order thirteen new, expensive refrigerated vessels. 1983 is one of the most difficult years for shipping since the second world war.
In 1984 the top management work to produce a plan for the financial reconstruction of Saléninvest. In the autumn of 1984 the company produces a profit and loss account and negotiates with the total of 20 banks that are affected. Sven Hampus Salén calls on Olof Palme in order to persuade the government to help the group of companies through the crisis, but to no avail.
Late in the evening of Tuesday the 18th of December Saléninvest’s management finally order all company owned vessels throughout the world to leave their ports, so that they could not be impounded by different countries’ creditors. On the morning of the 19th of December a petition for bankruptcy is filed with Stockholm’s city court.