On 4 January 1947, the 29-year-old Per Aarsleff, MSc in engineering, left a secure position with the Danish state.  He borrowed 10,000 Danish Kroner from his father’s life insurance, bought an excavator, rented two more and opened a lignite field near Fasterholt in Central Jutland. The business venture had just begun.

From difficult individual projects to specialities
Per Aarsleff took small, but clever steps. And he characterised his business strategy as follows:

Whether fuel, sewers or holes in the ground, we have always specialised in something that was sufficiently difficult so that others could not be bothered, and which at the same time was not too sensitive to market fluctuations in our national economy. Difficult individual projects that have since ended up as specialist fields. At the same time, we have always endeavoured to keep our machines running – and tailor-made for special purposes.

His principles turned out to be sustainable, and over the years, they have been the source of sound growth. Today, the original 14 men have turned into several thousand employees in the parent company, subsidiaries and associates.

Per Aarsleff died in 2006 at an age of 87 years and until a few years before his death, he was involved in the company.