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The Giroud Olma AG

While the company's founder Louis Giroud concentrated on machinery and apparatus engineering in the pre-electric era, the "present-day" Giroud Olma focuses on real estate development.

With a founding year of 1866, our company looks back on a long and proud history.


Louis Giroud, born in 1840 in Berne, founded the Louis Giroud company in Olten in 1866. His engineering office produced technical reports, cost estimates, expertises and designs.


A year and a half later, after enlarging his mechanical workshop, he also manufactured water pipes and water turbines, steam boilers and steam engines, steam laundries, hydraulic lifts, cranes of all kinds, transmission equipment and band saws for wood.


In 1874, his machine factory was the first in Switzerland to start manufacturing fittings, apparatus and machines for gas works, crushing and sorting plants for coal and coke.


Ten years later, signalling equipment for railways, machinery for the brick industry, turntables and looms were added. Gasworks equipment became a special area of this company.


On 1 April 1899 Louis Giroud turned his sole proprietorship into the company limited by shares Maschinenfabrik von Louis Giroud, of which he became a director. Alfred Rothenbach from Bern presided over it as president of the board of directors. The share capital was set at 250,000 francs. The most important areas of the joint-stock company were the production of material for the railway industry and gas works as well as iron constructions.



The later partner Olma AG was founded on 12 August 1910 as "Aktiengesellschaft Maschinenfabrik Landquart" in Landquart. It was created from the "Maschinenfabrik Gebrüder Wälchli und Co", also in Landquart.


In February 1917, the Landquart machine factory moved its headquarters to Olten. Von Roll's ironworks made the factory property and the railway siding available on a rental basis.


In this year, the general assembly decided to change the name to "AG Olma Landquarter Maschinenfabrik Olten". After the death of Louis Giroud on 19 December 1919, his son Oskar Giroud and Otto Meister jointly took over the management of the company.


In 1935, Giroud AG bought the Studer AG scales factory, also based in Olten, and integrated it into the company


Gradually, the share capital of Giroud AG was transferred to Von Rollsche Eisenwerke, which took over the company completely in 1939.


The merger between Giroud AG and Olma AG, which had already been discussed in the 1920s, was finally realised in 1961. Olma's production was transferred to Giroud as early as 1 January 1957, but the merger did not take place until 1 January 1961. The new company was called Giroud-Olma AG.


In 1977, Von Roll AG separated from its subsidiary Giroud-Olma AG and sold its entire share package to the Rapperswil engineering company Foundry Design Corporation (Europe), which belonged to the Jung family. Giroud-Olma AG thus became a family business again.

Traditional product lines such as worm pumps or hydraulic systems were greatly reduced or completely abandoned as a result of changing market conditions. The company concentrated on the construction of large and heavy equipment and was converted into a pure manufacturing company. The company reoriented itself by taking over product lines from other companies.

Werner Jung
Werner Jung

1980 - 1990

From the beginning of the 1980s, the construction of a large number of sales, training and commercial buildings began on the company premises, culminating in the construction of the "Sälipark" shopping centre in 2003. Before that, various buildings - previously used for industrial purposes - were converted; for example, the cantonal apprentice gymnastics of the Olten region found a new home on the Giroud Olma site.


In the new millennium, Giroud Olma AG has become a pure real estate company. The technology division of Giroud Olma AG was spun off on 1 April 2003 into Acutronic Olten GmbH, an independent subsidiary of the high-tech company Acutronic Schweiz AG. The company produces simulators for the aerospace industry in Bubikon, Canton Zurich. Until 2015, the majority of the Acutronic Group belonged to the Jung family.


Start of the "Tower of Olten" development project under the leadership of star architect Remo Riva from Hong Kong. The "Tower of Olten" project launched by Giroud Olma is centrally located near the railway station and the Aare. However, the approximately 110-metre-high tower did not come to fruition due to political opposition. Instead of a single high-rise, ETH urban planner Professor Kees Christiaanse (KCAP) now planned a project with "clusters" of several residential towers between 50 and 100 metres. It is considered a longer-term project.

Turm von Olten
Turm von Olten

2014 until Today

Giroud Olma AG is planning the new building project "Sälipark 2020" as an extension of the Sälipark shopping centre. In addition to the shopping and meeting centre, the building will contain around 70 urban rental flats. The project is currently being planned; the necessary design plan was published at the end of 2016. Prior to this, the people of Olten were informed in detail by means of a "public participation" in summer 2016.



Giroud Olma AG is renovating the gymnasium. The gym teachers' rooms and the foyer are being rebuilt, renovated and brought up to the latest standards. In the triple gymnasium, all the hall walls are being renewed and the flooring completely renovated.


Flat roof renovation on the gymnasium building.