Norwegian shipping heir Petter Olsen is fighting a claim for unpaid tax.

The 75-year-old younger brother of Fred Olsen group patriarch Fred Olsen has had a number of assets seized by the financial authorities in Norway in pursuit of NOK 52.4m ($4.85m), the E24 website reported.

Olsen told E24 that it is “positively incorrect” he is being sued.

The claim is down to a “technical error in the tax agency which was reversed on the same day as the payment was made”, he added.

Olsen’s lawyer, Geir Even Asplin, said his client had received an “unjustified attachment order”.

“I immediately contacted the case manager to have it reversed and deleted, which was initiated immediately by the tax agency,” Asplin said.

The tax agency said it could not comment on individual cases.

In December 2022, Olsen lost a fight over tax related to his hotel, museum and restaurant facilities in Vestby.

The DN newspaper said this project had cost more than NOK 1.1bn when it was completed in 2021.

Olsen was unable to claim value added tax relief of NOK 100m because it was judged the site would not make a profit until at least 2046.

He told DN: “This is a sad day for Norwegian business and for everyone who is directly affected by this verdict. We believe this decision is harmful, hostile to business and will provide fewer opportunities to find viable alternatives to the petroleum-related industry.”

Art investments

Art collector Olsen also has property interests and a stake in the Timex watch company.

Fred Olsen took control over most of the businesses in the family empire, while Petter gained control over the art, including many Edvard Munchs.

The younger brother formerly owned one of the four versions of Munch’s The Scream, which he sold in 2012 for $119.9m to build a museum to house the rest of his paintings.

Fred Olsen had contested their mother’s will in court. This left the art amassed by their father to Petter.

The Fred Olsen group is the parent of NHST, TradeWinds’ owner.