Over 130 years of international trade

Algol has more than 130 years of experience in international trade. Our subsidiaries import, market and manufacture products for industry and the healthcare sector. In addition, Algol Group companies offer services related to their business areas, such as design services, tailored delivery solutions, and installation, maintenance and training services. We are building a successful and sustainable future for our partners. 

Birth of the agency business 

The last Romanov ruler of Russia, Nicholas II, became tsar in St. Petersburg in 1894. In the same year, German-born entrepreneur Albert Goldbeck-Löwe turned his attention from St. Petersburg across the Gulf of Finland to the west. The Grand Duchy of Finland had a strong will to industrialise, and the businessman had the bold idea of establishing an agency business in Helsinki. 

His agency business began supplying Finnish industry with metals, industrial chemicals and building materials. The connection between the early years to the present day still exists, as the modern counterparts of these products continue to form an important part of the product range offered by the Algol Group today. Quality and good relations are also valued highly today, just as they were at the start. 

In 1899, Albert recruited his cousin Ludolf Bargum, who became a shareholder in 1914. The Bargum family has owned Algol ever since. 

The agency business expanded into wholesale operations in the 1920s. The range of industrial products grew, warehousing operations were introduced, and Finnish products were added to the portfolio. In the 1930s, Algol was granted a licence to engage in the pharmacy supply trade. 

Karamalmi and internationalisation 

Algol moved its central warehouse to the Karamalmi area of Espoo Finland in the 1960s, followed by its head office and technical trade operations in the late 1980s. The company’s head office is still located at the same address to this day. 

Beginning in the 1990s, Algol expanded its operations from Finland to Scandinavia, the Baltics, Russia, Belarus, Ukraine and India. Algol withdrew from Russia in 2022. International operations continue to play an increasingly important role in Algol’s businesses. 

In the 2000s, service sales have grown in importance alongside product sales. Today, Algol is recognised not only as an international expert in wholesale trade and distribution, but also as a provider of expert services. 

The Algol Group continues to develop with continuity and long-term ownership in mind. Since 2012, the Group has been led by Alexander Bargum, great-grandson of Ludolf Bargum. 

In 2024, Algol employs nearly 500 professionals in ten different countries. As a versatile and multi-branch partner to international trade, Algol promotes a sustainable future.

Read more about sustainability in Algol