How Oliver Mark rebuilt the Nilsen empire

OJ Nilsen created a large business, listed it on the ASX, but died with little to show for it all. Now, the fourth generation has completely turned things around.

There’s a surprising fact at the end of the Australian Dictionary of Biography entry for Oliver J Nilsen: when he died in 1977, aged 93, the estate of the Australian media pioneer and general household name was worth $1,845,530.

That’s about $9 million in today’s money. Compared to a certain other media pioneer, Frank Packer, who had died three years earlier, OJ Nilsen died a pauper.


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