VINCI, more than a century of projects serving daily life and mobility
The history of the VINCI Group, heir to hundreds of companies gradually assembled in a convoluted process, goes back to the 19th century. In 1899, two engineers from Polytechnique, an elite French engineering school, Alexandre Giros and Louis Loucheur, founded Société Générale d’Entreprises (SGE), which became VINCI in 2000 following its merger with the GTM Group.
VINCI Airports has finalised the acquisition of Fintech’s 29.99% stake in OMA (Grupo Aeroportuario del Centro Norte) for a total amount of $1.17 billion (€1,11 billion), thereby becoming the largest shareholder in this Mexican airport operator. The transaction follows the signature of an agreement with OMA’s former shareholder in July 2022.
Metrolinx, the transit authority for the Greater Toronto region (Ontario, Canada) has awarded VINCI Construction Grands Projets the civil contract for the design-build-finance of a major portion of the new Ontario Line, in a 50/50 joint venture with Ferrovial.
VINCI Concessions announces that it has participated in the latest financing round of H2 MOBILITY, raising €10 million alongside the Clean H2 Infra Fund, the world's first low-carbon hydrogen fund.
VINCI signs two major contracts for high voltage transmission lines in Brazil: one PPP contract and one EPC contract
Cobra IS, a VINCI subsidiary, has signed a major PPP contract in Brazil after auctions organised by the National Electric Energy Agency (ANEEL).
VINCI Energies has signed an agreement to acquire a major portion of the IT services business of Kontron AG - formerly S&T AG, a leading player in the field of IoT products in Europe.
VINCI wins the contract to design, build and install windfarm energy converter platforms in the North Sea
The consortium made up of Dragados Offshore – a subsidiary of Cobra IS – and Siemens Energy has been awarded by Amprion Offshore a contract to design, build and install high-voltage direct current (HVDC) converter platforms.
Ulisses Correia e Silva (Cape Verdean prime minister) and Nicolas Notebaert (Chief Executive Officer of VINCI Concessions and President of VINCI Airports) signed a concession contract for seven airports in the Cape Verde archipelago today.
VINCI wins the contract to implement and maintain the electromechanical infrastructure of the Femern Tunnel
VINCI, through its subsidiary Cobra IS, has just signed the contract to equip the Femern tunnel with electromechanical installations.
The Princely Government of Monaco has entrusted VINCI Construction with the structure, core and shell for the new Princess Grace Hospital in Monaco.
After announcing the agreement on 1 April 2021, VINCI’s acquisition of ACS’s energy business was completed this morning.
On Friday 17 December 2021, the Western Strasbourg bypass (A355) in eastern France was commissioned. Recognised as a public interest on 23 January 2008, this 24 km long road represents the most extensive motorway project undertaken in France in recent years.
Air Liquide, TotalEnergies, VINCI and a group of international companies launch the world’s largest clean hydrogen infrastructure fund
Air Liquide, TotalEnergies and VINCI, are combining forces with other large international companies to sponsor the creation of the world’s largest fund exclusively dedicated to clean hydrogen infrastructure solutions. The fund aims to reach 1.5 billion euros and has already secured initial commitments of 800 million euros. Its objective is to accelerate the growth of the clean hydrogen ecosystem by investing in large strategic projects and leveraging the alliance of industrial and financial players.
DEGES, the public body in charge of developing transport infrastructure in Germany, has awarded to VINCI Concessions the public-private partnership contract of the new federal road B247.
As part of the construction of the 57.5 km tunnel that will connect Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne (France) and Susa (Italy), the owner Tunnel Euralpin Lyon-Turin (TELT) has awarded the contract for works package 2 to a consortium led by VINCI Construction Grands Projets.
VINCI Energies has signed a contract worth €292 million with the Ministry of Economy and Finance and the Ministry of Energy of the Republic of Benin for the construction of electricity transmission and distribution infrastructures. Its financing is supported by the French authorities.
On completion of a call for tenders initiated by ANAC (Agência Nacional de Aviação Civil), VINCI Airports was today awarded a 30-year concession for seven airports of the North region of Brazil: Manaus, Porto Velho, Rio Branco, Boa Vista, Cruzeiro do Sul, Tabatinga and Téfé.
VINCI has successfully issued an inaugural €500 million Green Bond, which is due to mature in November 2028, with a coupon rate of 0%.
Seymour Whyte, a VINCI Construction subsidiary based in Australia, in a 50:50 joint venture with John Holland, will deliver Sydney Gateway, around the Sydney Airport precinct.
The Link Alliance, including VINCI Construction Grands Projets (lead company) and Soletanche Bachy International, subsidiaries of VINCI Construction, and their partner Downer, plus designers Aecom, WSP-Opus and Tonkin & Taylor – signed on 20 October 2020 the contract for Packages 5 and 7 for the City Rail Link programme in Auckland, New Zealand.
Seymour Whyte, a VINCI Construction subsidiary based in Australia, has won two motorway upgrade contracts worth a total 330 million AUD (about €200 million).
The Republic of Kenya, through its Public Private Partnership Unit and the Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA), executed an agreement with Rift Valley Highway, a company owned by VINCI Highways (Lead Member), VINCI Concessions, and Meridiam SAS, for the development of the Nairobi-Nakuru-Mau Summit Highway project.
Groupama launches construction with VINCI of Total’s new head office, The Link, in partnership with Paris La Défense
Groupama Group and Total signed an off-plan lease on 14 March 2020 covering the construction of The Link, Total’s new head office in Paris La Défense. The project was designed by architects PCA-STREAM for Groupama, owner of the site, and will be built by VINCI, through subsidiary VINCI Construction France.
VINCI wins the railway equipment and works contract for Grand Paris Express West sector of Line 15 South
Société du Grand Paris has awarded the contract covering track and overhead contact line equipment and works for Line 15 South – West sector to the joint venture made up of Eurovia subsidiary ETF (lead company) and VINCI Energies subsidiary Mobility.
VINCI Construction and Spie batignolles win construction contract forworks package 1 of Grand Paris Express Line 18
Société du Grand Paris has awarded the construction contract for works package 1 of Line 18 of Grand Paris Express, the biggest urban mobility programme currently under way in Europe, to the joint venture* led by VINCI Construction Grands Projets. This first section will link Orly airport to Massy-Palaiseau; Line 18 will then be extended to Versailles.
VINCI Airports, which began operating the Salvador Bahia Airport concession in January 2018, today delivered a works programme designed to extend and upgrade the airport.
VINCI Concessions opens the final section of the new M11 motorway between Moscow and Saint Petersburg
The final section (Section 8) of the new Moscow – Saint Petersburg (M11) motorway was officially opened on 27 November 2019 at a ceremony presided over by Vladimir Putin, President of the Russian Federation, and attended by Yves-Thibault de Silguy, Vice-Chairman of the Board of Directors, VINCI and Nicolas Notebaert, Chief Executive Officer, VINCI Concessions.
ITER Organization, the international organisation set up in November 2006 to operate and subsequently dismantle the ITER facility; Fusion For Energy (F4E), the European Union organisation responsible for the European contribution to the ITER programme; and Groupe VINCI, leader of the consortium in charge of constructing the main buildings at the site, today announced the completion of civil engineering works on the ITER Tokamak Building at the Saint Paul lez Durance/Cadarache site in south-eastern France. This major project milestone was symbolically reached with the final concrete pour, on 7 November 2019, of the upper part of the building in which the ITER Tokamak will soon be assembled.
The bypass around Regina, capital of the Province of Saskatchewan in Canada, was officially opened today in the presence of Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe, Xavier Huillard, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of VINCI, Pierre Anjolras, Chairman of Eurovia and Nicolas Notebaert, Chief Executive Officer of VINCI Concessions.
Balfour Beatty VINCI SYSTRA joint venture awarded HS2 construction management contract for c. £1 billion Old Oak Common station
The Balfour Beatty VINCI SYSTRA HS2 joint venture today announces its formal contract award for the management of the construction and delivery of HS2’s new c. £1 billion Old Oak Common station.
Operated by VINCI Airports and its partners under a concession contract since 2016, Lyon-Saint Exupéry Airport has won Airports Council International’s “ACI Europe Best Airport 2019 Award” in the 10-25 million passengers category.
On Friday, 2 August 2019, Panamanian President, Laurentino Cortizo, and Panama Canal Administrator, Jorge Quijano, unveiled the Atlantic Bridge in Colón.
VINCI Construction wins a Design-Construction contract for the City Rail Link Project in Auckland, New Zealand
The Link Alliance, which includes VINCI Construction subsidiaries VINCI Construction Grands Projets (main contractor) and Soletanche Bachy International, along with their partner Downer and designers Aecom, WSP-Opus, and Tonkin & Taylor, has today signed the Design-Construction Alliance contract for Package 3 of the City Rail Link project in New Zealand.
VINCI Construction Grands Projets and Bouygues Travaux Publics, partners in the NOVARKA consortium, symbolically handed over the key to the Chernobyl New Safe Confinement to the Ukrainian authorities at a ceremony that was held on site on Wednesday 10 July, in the presence of the Ukrainian President, Volodymyr Zelensky.
VINCI Airports becomes the world’s second largest airport operator with the integration of London Gatwick airport
Today, VINCI Airports completed the acquisition of a majority shareholding (50.01%) in London Gatwick airport, a freehold property and the UK’s second-largest airport. London Gatwick airport is an asset with substantial growth potential and the transaction fits perfectly into the VINCI Concessions long-term investment strategy.
VINCI reinvents compulsory work experience for lower secondary school students in France with its new scheme “Give Me Five”
VINCI today announces the launch of “Give Me Five”, an ambitious scheme designed to combat inequality. Through it, in partnership with the French ministry of Education, the Group intends to reinvent the compulsory work experience placement for lower secondary school students in France and pledges to welcome 5,000 pupils a year from priority and high-priority education establishments
VINCI Construction selected for design-build contract for the I-64 link between Hampton and Norfolk in Virginia (United States)
The Governor of the State of Virginia in the United States has announced it has selected the joint venture comprising VINCI Construction Grands Projets and Dodin Campenon Bernard, both VINCI Construction subsidiaries (33%), Dragados USA (42%) and Flatiron (25%), for the contract of extending and upgrading the I-64 between Hampton and Norfolk, worth €2.9 billion ($3.3 billion).
VINCI Airports, a VINCI Concessions subsidiary, signed an agreement to acquire from current shareholders an effective 50.01% stake in Gatwick Airport Limited, a freehold property airport.
Eurovia has finalised an agreement with the Salini Impregilo Group to acquire the Plants and Paving division of its subsidiary Lane Construction.
Eurovia, the VINCI subsidiary specialising in transport infrastructure and urban development, in collaboration with VINCI Autoroutes, has recently achieved the world’s first “fully recycled road”.
Canadian energy infrastructure operator TransCanada Corporation has awarded a contract to a joint venture made up of Spiecapag Canada Corp, a VINCI subsidiary and operational leader, and Macro Pipelines Inc. to build two sections of gas pipeline in the province of Vancouver, British Columbia.
VINCI inaugurates Leonard:Paris, the open laboratory focused on the future of cities and infrastructure
Leonard:Paris hosts the VINCI entities focused on transforming the Group’s markets and business activities and therefore brings together a one-of-a-kind cluster of the full range of expertise (scientific, urban, social, entrepreneurial) focusing on the major urban challenges.
VINCI Energies will roll out optical fibre in 26 administrative departments in Francen between now and 2022
Between now and 2022, VINCI Energies is to roll out fibre to the home (FTTH) in 26 French administrative departments to provide very high-speed broadband access for 600,000 rural households.
VINCI Airports finalizes the takeover of 8 Airports in the United States, United Kingdom, Costa Rica and Sweden (Airports Worldwide portfolio)
After having met all the condition precedent, VINCI Airports, a VINCI Concessions subsidiary, finalized today the acquisition of the airport portfolio held by Airports Worldwide, following the signature of the agreement with previous owner OMERS (Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System), in April 2018.
VINCI Airports completes financing for Belgrade airport concession and takes over operations
VINCI Airports has satisfied all the conditions precedent in the contract and is officially taking over the concession at Nikola Tesla Airport in Belgrade.
Eurovia becomes one of the road works’ leaders in the United States East Coast
Eurovia has finalised an agreement with the Salini Impregilo Group to acquire the Plants and Paving division of its subsidiary Lane Construction.
VINCI Energies, via Omexom, its brand dedicated to energy transition, has been awarded a contract by the Société d’Electricité du Sénégal (Senelec) to build eight photovoltaic power plants with a combined capacity of 17 MW in Senegal over a period of 10 months.
>The SEA HSL has opened to traffic
The South Europe Atlantic Tours–Bordeaux high-speed line, which VINCI built and is now operating, officially opened to traffic on Sunday 2 July 2017, marking the completion of the construction phase and the beginning of commercial operation.
A consortium comprising Eurovia CS (leader), Doprastav and Metrostav has been awarded the contract to build a new 8 km section of the D1 motorway near Prešov, in eastern Slovakia. Once completed, this motorway will cross Slovakia from west to east, linking Austria and Ukraine.
VINCI Concessions subsidiary VINCI Highways recently completed the financial arrangements for the A7 motorway public-private partnership (A-Modell*) covering a 60 km section between the Bockenem and Göttingen interchanges in Germany.
Several VINCI Construction companies have been selected to work on Grand Paris Express projects, in particular including Line 15 South.
The consortium led by VINCI Construction (Dodin Campenon Bernard, lead company; VINCI Construction France; VINCI Construction Grands Projets and Botte Fondations), together with Spie batignolles (Spie batignolles Génie Civil and Spie batignolles Fondations), has been awarded a major contract as part of the Grand Paris Express programme.
VINCI Airports now concessionaire of Salvador Airport in Bahia, in Brazil
On completion of a call for tenders initiated by ANAC (Agência Nacional de Aviação Civil), VINCI Airports was this Thursday awarded the concession for Deputado Luis Eduardo Magalhaes airport, for a 30-year term. Located in the city of Salvador, this airport is currently managed by the public operator Infraero.
VINCI Energies reinforces its presence in northern Europe
VINCI Energies announced on 1 November 2017 that it had acquired two leading European companies specialising in electricity networks: Infratek and Horlemann. Early November also saw VINCI Energies reach an agreement with the shareholders of Eitech to acquire this company’s entire share capital.
VINCI Construction acquires Australian company Seymour Whyte
On 23 October 2017, VINCI Construction finalised its acquisition of Queensland-based Seymour Whyte, purchasing 100% of the capital of this company previously listed on the Sydney stock exchange. Founded in 1987, the company is well known in Australia as an operator in the fields of civil engineering, earthworks and utilities, notably for the construction of roads, bridges and water infrastructure.
The new 12 km portion of the East End Crossing connecting the U.S. states of Indiana and Kentucky was inaugurated on 18 December 2016. The project was carried out under a PPP contract with a value of nearly $1 billion (€956 billion) signed in March 2013 by Indiana Finance Authority and the concession company WVB East End Partners, made up, in equal shares, of VINCI Highways, Walsh Investors and Bilfinger PI.
A ceremony in Chernobyl today marked the successful conclusion of the sliding operation, a key milestone before the fi nalisation of the international programme to transform Chernobyl into an environmentally safe and secure state by November 2017.
Trans Adriatic Pipeline AG has awarded Spiecapag, a subsidiary of Entrepose, the Engineering Procurement Construction (EPC) of three lots of onshore gas pipelines as part of the TAP (Trans-Adriatic Pipeline) project: one lot represents 185 km in Greece - between Kipoi and Kavala - and two lots are totalling 215 km in Albania, between Bilisht and Topoje.
VINCI has signed the 54-year concession contract with the Ministry for Ecology, Sustainable Development, Transport and Housing to design, finance, build, operate and maintain the 24km western Strasbourg bypass. The dual two-lane carriageway section connects the A4/A35 in the north with the A352/A35 junction in the south.
VINCI Airports finalises the acquisition of the two Kansai airports in Japan and enters the world’s top five airports operators
On 1 April 2016, VINCI Airports will take over operation of the two Kansai’s region airports in Japan for a period of 44 years. This new acquisition is a major milestone in VINCI Airports’ international expansion. Operating on three continents and managing more than 100 million passengers per year, VINCI Airports is now one of the world’s five leading airport operators.
Lamsac’s acquisition: VINCI becomes motorway concessionaire in Peru
VINCI Highways, VINCI Concessions’ subsidiary, has finalised the acquisition of 100% of Lamsac company, concessionaire-holder of Línea Amarilla, a 25 km toll road around the center of Lima, and PEX, Lamsac’s electronic toll collection operator. The deal is based on an enterprise value of Lamsac and PEX at PEN 5.5billion (around EUR 1.5 billion) as of 31 December 2015.
Regina Bypass Partners, a (37.5%) subsidiary of VINCI Concessions, in partnership with Parsons Enterprises (25%), Connor Clark & Lunn GVest fund (25%) and Gracorp Capital (12.5%) has signed with the Saskatchewan Ministry of Highways and Infrastructure a Public-Private Partnership contract with a term of 30 years for the completion and operation of the highway bypass of Regina, the capital city of the province of Saskatchewan in Canada.
Since 1 October, the Nuevo Pudahuel consortium composed of Aéroports de Paris (45%), VINCI Airports (40%) and Astaldi (15%) has been officially in charge of the management of the Santiago de Chile airport, and will be so for the next 20 years. Winning the concession for this airport, the sixth-busiest in South America (it handled more than 16 million travellers in 2014), marks an important milestone in the international development strategy of VINCI Airports, at the very heart of the Group’s priorities.
>Construction of a new building at Orly Airport
Being implemented in a joint venture by Chantiers Modernes Construction and Bateg, subsidiaries of VINCI Construction France, the project involves the construction of a building of some 80,000 sq. metres that will connect the airport’s South and West terminals. The 250 m-long new building was designed with the help of BIM (Building Information Modeling), an innovative tool using digital models.
VINCI undertakes a strategic partnership with the Constructora Conconcreto Company in Colombia
VINCI has announced a strategic partnership with Constructora Conconcreto, a leading Colombian construction and real estate development company. This partnership is subject to finalisation of the agreements and the customary closing conditions. Constructora Conconcreto is Colombia’s second-largest construction and property development group, with €320 million revenue in 2014 and 4,800 employees.
On Monday 20 October 2014, the Louis Vuitton Foundation was inaugurated in Paris in the presence of Bernard Arnault, chairman of the LVMH Group, French President Francois Hollande, architect Frank Gehry, Xavier Huillard, chairman and CEO of VINCI, and numerous guests. With a net floor area of 13,700 sq. metres, the building is characterized by its 12 huge glass roofs, covering a highly complex structure associating 19 “icebergs” clad with white, ultra-high-performance fibre concrete panels with 47 glazed facades.
VINCI finalises the acquisition of Imtech ICT and Electrix
VINCI Energies has finalised the acquisition of Imtech ICT, the information and communication technologies division of Imtech, as well as the acquisition of the Electrix company from McConnell Dowell, a subsidiary of South African group Aveng.
Jean-Luc Marx, Prefect of La Réunion, and Didier Robert, President of the Réunion Region, are today officially launching construction of the new coastal highway to be built by a consortium made up of VINCI Construction subsidiaries VINCI Construction Grands Projets (lead company) and Dodin Campenon Bernard, Bouygues Construction subsidiary Bouygues Travaux Publics and Demathieu Bard. The 5,400 metre offshore viaduct, France's longest, will connect Saint Denis (the administrative capital of La Réunion) with La Grande Chaloupe.
Acquisition of ANA, the Portuguese airports concession company
VINCI has finalised today the acquisition of ANA, the company that holds a fifty-year concession for Portugal’s 10 airports. This is the final step in the privatisation process that was launched by the Portuguese government and approved by the European Commission in June 2013. In terms of enterprise value, the transaction is worth €3.08 billion.
Organisation Eurovia merges its railway activities : ETF
As of 1st January 2013, Eurovia's railway construction and maintenance activities have been brought together within a single company: ETF. In France, seven regional offices will cover all maintenance services, on both the national network and private branch lines. Outside France, ETF is now offering integrated solutions, based on its predecessor companies' 150 years worth of know-how, qualifications and references, in the course of its ongoing activities in Thailand, Egypt, Benin, Venezuela, and, soon, India.
VINCI Immobilier has delivered the "Cité du Cinéma", a new centre conceived by Luc Besson and dedicated to the “Seventh Art”. Covering all aspects of the French film industry, this complex of 62,000 m2 will, among other things, have 9 film studios, workshops for building film sets, training areas for the Ecole Nationale Supérieure Louis Lumière, a film theatre, an arcade, space for the service sector as well as communal services, shops and a restaurant.
Die geplante Hochgeschwindigkeitsstrecke mit 302 km Länge und 38 km Gleisanschlüssen an das bestehende Schienennetz stellt mit 7,8 Milliarden Euro (aktueller Stand) Gesamtinvestition die bisher bedeutendste öffentlich-private Partnerschaft (PPP) im französischen Eisenbahnsektor und eines der weltweit größten Infrastrukturprojekte der letzten zehn Jahre dar.
VINCI inaugurates the A86 Duplex, the final, western, link of the "super-ring road"
On 9 December, as part of its liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal project in Papua New Guinea, Esso Highlands Limited, a subsidiary of Exxon Mobil Corporation, awarded Spiecapag, a subsidiary of Entrepose Contracting (VINCI Construction), the contract for the construction of 450 km of land-based pipelines. Spiecapag will be responsible for the engineering, supplying equipment, and the construction and installation of this infrastructure.
Today, VINCI announces the completion of the transfer to VINCI of the Cegelec group (“Cegelec”) by the Qatari Diar Real Estate Investment Company (“Qatari Diar”), and the allotment to Qatari Diar of 5.78% of VINCI’s capital and theoretical voting rights in the context of this transaction. Integrating solutions and technological services, Cegelec designs, installs and maintains systems and sub-systems in industry, infrastructure and the service sector.
VINCI announces the signature on 29 April 2010 of an exclusivity agreement with APAX Partners SA to acquire Faceo. Faceo is a major player in Europe’s facilities management market. The company provides integrated solutions for service sector maintenance, with activities in engineering, systems integration and multi-service and multi-technical maintenance within the framework of multi-year contracts. With 2,500 employees, Faceo generated revenue of €430 million in 2009, of which 30% outside France.
Xavier Huillard is a graduate of the École Polytechnique and the École Nationale des Ponts et Chaussées. He has spent most of his working life in the construction industry in France and abroad. Mr Huillard joined Sogea in December 1996 as Deputy Chief Executive Officer in charge of international activities and specific projects, and then became its Chairman and Chief Executive Officer in 1998. He was appointed Deputy General Manager of VINCI in March 1998 and was Chairman of VINCI Construction from 2000 to 2002. He was appointed Co-Chief Operating Officer of VINCI and was Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of VINCI Energies from 2002 to 2004, then Chairman of VINCI Energies from 2004 to 2005. Mr Huillard became Director and Chief Executive Officer of VINCI in 2006 and was appointed Chairman of the Board of Directors and Chief Executive Officer of VINCI on 6 May 2010. He served as Chairman of the Institut de l’Entreprise from January 2011 until January 2017. He was appointed Chairman of VINCI Concessions SAS on 20 June 2016.
VINCI officially opened the A19, France’s first eco-motorway. Built by Group companies and operated by Cofiroute, this 101 km motorway between Artenay and Courtenay completes the outer ring road around the Greater Paris area.
VINCI strengthened its rail sector activity by acquiring Vossloh Infrastructure Services, renaming it ETF-Eurovia Travaux Ferroviaires. The Group participated in the tender for the construction and operation of 303 km of high-speed line between Tours and Bordeaux. At the end of March 2010, VINCI was declared the successful bidder.
VINCI acquires Soletanche Bachy, world leader in special foundations and ground treatment. Soletanche Bachy offers technical expertise acknowledged the world over. In 2009, Soletanche Bachy merges with the Freyssinet Group to create Soletanche Freyssinet, representing an array of brands and technologies that is unrivalled in the world of specialised civil engineering.
VINCI broadened its range of technical expertise and strengthened its international presence by acquiring Entrepose Contracting (oil and gas infrastructure).
VINCI Energies signed its first public-private partnership for public lighting with the municipality of Thiers in central France
The city of Thiers in central France has just awarded its public lighting management contract to VINCI Energies under a 15-year public private partnership. A few months later, VINCI Energies and VINCI Concessions won the PPP contract to manage public lighting in the city of Rouen, Normandy.
>Yves-Thibault de Silguy (Chairman from june 2006 to may 2010)
Yves-Thibault de Silguy has a degree in law from the Université de Rennes, a Masters degree in public law, and is a graduate of the Institut d’Études Politiques de Paris, public service section, and the École Nationale d’Administration. From 1976 to 1981, he worked at the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and for the European Commission from 1981 to 1985. He then worked at the French Embassy in Washington as a Counsellor (economic affairs) from 1985 to 1986. From 1986 to 1988, Mr de Silguy was an adviser in the Prime Minister’s office with responsibility for European affairs and international economic and financial affairs. From 1988 to 1993, he headed the international affairs department of the Usinor Sacilor Group, before being named its Director for International Affairs. From 1993 to 1995, he was Secretary-General of the Interdepartmental Committee for Questions of Economic Cooperation in Europe and at the same time, adviser for European affairs and vice-sherpa in the Prime Minister’s office, assisting in the preparation of summits of the industrialised nations. From 1995 to 1999, Mr de Silguy was European Commissioner responsible for economic, monetary and financial affairs. From 2000 to 2005, he was Chairman of Medef’s European Policy Committee. In January 2000, he became a member of the Executive Board of Suez Lyonnaise des Eaux, then served as Chief Executive Officer of Suez from 2001 to 2003. He was then Executive Vice-President of Suez from 2003 until June 2006. Mr de Silguy was appointed Chairman of the Board of Directors of VINCI on 1 June 2006 and resigned from all his appointments at Suez. On 6 May 2010, he was appointed Vice-Chairman of VINCI and Lead Director of the Board. Since October 2018, he has been Vice-Chairman of VINCI.
>With the acquisition of ASF, VINCI becomes the world’s leading integrated concession/construction group
VINCI was selected by the French government to acquire ASF and Escota as part of the country’s motorway company privatisation programme.
>VINCI opened Charilaos Trikoupis Bridge (Rion–Antirion) to traffic.
The 2,252 metre structure, which connects the Peloponnese to mainland Greece, was built by VINCI Construction Grands Projets and is being operated by VINCI Concessions under a 35-year concession contract.
>VINCI to restore the Château de Versailles Hall of Mirrors
VINCI became a major partner of France’s Ministry of Culture and started restoration work on the Hall of Mirrors at the Château de Versailles in the country’s biggest skills-based cultural sponsorship operation.
>VINCI created the VINCI Foundation for the Community, a bridge between the skills of Group employees and community organisations. Its aim is to promote access to employment and restore social cohesion.
VINCI created the VINCI Foundation for the Community, a bridge between the skills of Group employees and community organisations. Its aim is to promote access to employment and restore social cohesion.
Find out more at: www.fondation-vinci.com
>VINCI created VINCI Park
VINCI created VINCI Park, world leader in car parks and associated services.
Yaciretá, or "cradle of the moon" in Guarani, is located on the Parana river at the northern tip of Argentina and Paraguay. Dumez participated in the construction of this dam, which not only produces power but also allows river transport all the way to Brazil, thanks to elevated upstream water levels. The facility consists of an earth dam seventy kilometres in length, with four main concrete structures: a navigation lock, two spillways, and a hydroelectric plant.
>SGE became VINCI
VINCI merged with Groupe GTM
>Antoine Zacharias (Chairman of VINCI from 2000 to 2006)
A graduate of engineering school ENSEEIHT, Antoine Zacharias held many management positions at Compagnie Générale des Eaux, where he spent most of his career. He was regional director at Lyon, and in charge of developing and monitoring the group's activities in Germany. He was appointed Deputy General Manager of CCGE in 1994 and member of the Vivendi Executive Board in 1995. Executive manager and Director of SGE since 1991, he was appointed chairman of the group in June 1997. In April 2000, he resigned from Vivendi when the latter reduced its interest in SGE to 17%. He was responsible for the VINCI's merger with GTM in 2000, which made VINCi the world leader in construction, concessions and related services.
>Georges Pompidou European Hospital
Sogea built the shell of the Georges Pompidou European hospital (designed by architect Aymeric Zublena), located in Paris's XVth arrondissement. The 29,000 square metre hospital has a capacity of 687 beds.
>Jin Mao building
The Jin Mao tower, which rises 420.50 metres over the city of Shanghai, was designed to be the tallest skyscraper with a concrete centre and metal frame. The building counts 88 stories, 88,000 square metres of curtain wall, eight megacolumns surrounding a reinforced concrete core and a 38-metre spire.
>Stade de France
The construction of the Stade de France began in 1995, three years before the World Soccer Cup. The site presented many challenges, due to geological conditions, urban surroundings and the short deadline. Three French companies, of which Dumez and SGE, were awarded equal portions of the project. The stadium's subsequent success, and its short, albeit rich history, have been widely recognised. The Stade de France is operated under concession by VINCI.
>Ting Kau bridge
The Ting Kau bridge in Hong Kong is 1,117 metres long and is one of the longest cable-stayed bridges in the world. Freyssinet installed 384 cables, plus 64 cables to stabilise the pylons and eight to ensure longitudinal stability (the latter were nearly 500 metres long). The total weight of these cables exceeded 3,000 tonnes.
>Vasco de Gama bridge over the Tagus in Lisbon
The Vasco de Gama bridge was inaugurated in 1998. The structure, which is 17 kilometres long, includes a main cable-stayed bridge824 metre long, four viaducts, respectively 488 metres, 672 metres, 6,531 metres and 3,825 metres long, an interchange, and a toll-gate/services area. The entire structure is built to resist earthquakes four times stronger than the one that destroyed Lisbon in 1755. The project was managed by Campenon Bernard and is currently operated by VINCI under a concession contract.
Eurovia was created in 1997 from the merger of two major SGE road construction subsidiaries, Viafrance and Cochery Bourdin Chaussé (the latter was the result of the 1984 merger of Cochery and Bourdin Chaussé). In 1999, Eurovia purchased Teerbau, the roadworks leader in Germany. It also launched a major expansion drive in central and eastern Europe. In 2000, VINCI's merger with GTM resulted in the merger of Eurovia and Entreprise Jean Lefebvre, to form the largest roadworks company in Europe.
The art of foundations is as old as the hills, but its scientific expression, geotechnical engineering, only goes back to the 1920s. As the industrial pioneers of the new discipline, Soletanche and Bachy devised most of the innovations that revolutionised ground technologies. Their merger in 1997 consolidated their leadership in the sector.
Soletanche and Bachy have successfully completed some 60,000 projects, including waterproofing and repair of large dams; nuclear power station protective walls; tunnels for most of the large urban metro systems; very deep foundations for the highest skyscrapers in Asia, Europe and the Middle East; refurbishment of historic landmarks such as the Arc de Triomphe and the Grand Palais in Paris, the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow and Saint Pancras Train Station in London; major marine works such as Port 2000 in Le Havre, The Palm in Dubai and Al Raha Beach in Abu Dhabi; and a multitude of smaller projects showcasing the skills of our operators, technicians and engineers.
>Antoine Zacharias (Chairman of SGE from 1997 to 2000)
A graduate of engineering school ENSEEIHT, Antoine Zacharias held many management positions at Compagnie Générale des Eaux, where he spent most of his career. He was regional director at Lyon, and in charge of developing and monitoring the group's activities in Germany. He was appointed Deputy General Manager of CCGE in 1994 and member of the Vivendi Executive Board in 1995. Executive manager and Director of SGE since 1991, he was appointed chairman of the group in June 1997. In April 2000, he resigned from Vivendi when the latter reduced its interest in SGE to 17%. He was responsible for the VINCI's merger with GTM in 2000, which made VINCi the world leader in construction, concessions and related services.
>Jean-Marie Messier (Chairman of SGE from 1996 to 1997)
A graduate of Ecole Polytechnique and Ecole Nationale d'Administration, Jean-Marie Messier began his career as a Finance inspector in 1982. He was successively cabinet chief of the minister in charge of privatisations, technical advisor to the minister of the economy and finance from 1986 to 1999, and associate-manager of the bank Lazard Frères et Cie from 1989 to 1994. Appointed General Manager and Director of CGE (which became Vivendi in 1996), he was named Chairman and CEO of the company until 2002. He was Chairman and CEO of SGE from 1996 to 1997, when it was still a subsidiary of Vivendi.
The Normandy bridge, the second longest cable-stayed bridge in the world, with a main span of 856 metres, crosses the Seine estuary linking Le Havre to Honfleur. The bridge is 1,966 metres long and includes two concrete pylons that are 215 metres high.
The bridge's bearing surface is more limited that that of the great suspended bridges. Nonetheless, the Normandy bridge represents a considerable improvement in cable-stayed technology and can withstand winds exceeding 300 kilometres per hour.
>Société Générale building
The Société Générale head office building in La Défense, built by CBC, is one of the great office construction projects of the last decade. CBC's Paris-based subsidiary Bateg completed one of the towers, with over 70,000 square metres in office space, in 1995.
xThe inauguration of the Channel tunnel in 1994 marked the end of an exceptional technical and human adventure. The idea dated back to 1802, when Albert Mathieu, an engineer, suggested digging a tunnel to link France to England, but the project did not materialise until France and the UK signed a treaty to this effect in 1986.
The tunnel includes three galleries, and is a total of 50.5 kilometres in length, of which 37 kilometres run under the channel, which is fifty metres deep. The terminal installations on the French side cover 520 hectares, i.e. the size of an international airport. Of the five French companies that met this exceptional technical challenge, VINCI is represented through two of its businesses, Dumez and SGE.
>Canal + head office building
The Canal+ head office building, designed by Richard Meier, was delivered in 1992 and is representative of a new style of office architecture, that offered flexible internal design on a smaller scale. CBC drew on the full range of its technical skills to complete the project.
>Guy Dejouany (Chairman from 1990 to 1996)
A graduate of Ecole Polytechnique and a Ponts et Chaussées engineer, most of Guy Dejouany's career was with CGE (which later became Vivendi). He was successively Deputy General Manager in 1965, General Manager in 1972, General Manager and Director in 1973 and Chairman and CEO from 1976 to 1996. From 1990 to 1996, he was also Chairman and CEO of SGE (at the time, a subsidiary of CGE).
>Our Lady of Peace in Yamoussoukro
The Yamassoukro cathedral, Our Lady of Peace, was built and financed by President Houphouët-Boigny of Côte d'Ivoire, and cost over one billion French francs. The cathedral is a replica of Saint Peter of Rome. With a surface area of 30,000 meters, it can hold up to 7,000 people seated and 11,000 people standing.
>The Grand Louvre Museum
Architect Ieoh Ming Pei was commissioned to design the new buildings of the Grand Louvre Museum, which gave rise to one of the largest and most complex museum in the world. Dumez built the underground entrance to the museum, along with restaurants, an auditorium, exhibition rooms, warehouses, a bookstore and the base of Pei's famous glass pyramid.
>Golfech nuclear power plant
During the 1950, GTM took part in the French government's power plant construction program. From 1985 to 1987, it added to its project portfolio, by building two cooling towers for the Golfech nuclear power plant in the Tarn department. The cooling towers, which stood at 178.5 metres, were the tallest in the world.
>Homes in Singapore
To remedy a severe housing shortage, Singapore launched a large-scale policy, in which GTM was actively involved, through the construction of 15,000 homes between 1981 and 1987. To honour the contract, GTM first had to build an exceptionally large prefabrication plant.
>Pierre Léon-Dufour (1937-2001)
Pierre Léon-Dufour was born in 1937 in Tarbes. A graduate of Ecole Nationale des Ponts et Chaussées, he was employed by GTM when the group decided to launch a new business: parking lots. Pierre Léon-Dufour played a key role in the development of Parcs GTM, GTM's parking division, which he managed from 1986 to 1996,. He was also active in representing the profession and founded business organisation SYNOPARC (Syndicat National des Concessionnaires de Parcs Publics de Stationnement).
>The new town of Khashm-Al-Aan
Khashm-Al-Aam was just another patch of desert in the suburbs of Riad, Saudi Arabia, when the National Guard decided to build its largest military base there in 1981. The Saudi government launched a giant construction project to build housing for the families of officers and enlisted men. In less than five years, Dumez built a city for 50,000 people, including 5,200 homes and 143 public buildings over an area of 1,640,000 square metres.
>La Villette Science and Technology Park in Paris
After the Pompidou Centre, GTM won another major project management contract that also involved modernising the architecture of Paris. This time, the group was en charge of building the La Villette Museum of Science and Technology. In 1974, just a few years after the closure of the La Villette abattoirs, GTM began works to develop 55 hectares of industrial wasteland.
>Serge Michel (Chairman from 1984 to 1988)
Serge Michel spent his entire career in the building and civil engineering sector. In 1951, he joined SEAS and became manager of Etablissements Houdry in 1955. In 1967, he joined Saint-Gobain as sales manager and then chairman of Socea. At Saint-Gobain, he was successively deputy general manager and general manager of the services branch. He was appointed Chairman of SGE from 1984 to 1988 and Chairman of the Executive Board from 1988 to 1990. He was deputy general manager of CGE from 1991 to 1992. He is currently chairman of Soficot.
CBC (Campenon Bernard Construction) was founded in 1982 by two former Bouygues managers, Henri Becq et Gilbert Simonet, with the support of parent company Campenon Bernard, which wanted to develop building activities. CBC began by bringing together Campenon Bernard's construction subsidiaries, then developed real estate activities and moved into international markets. This policy immediately paid off, and by the end of the 1980s, CBC was among the five leading French companies in the sector.
CBC has three main features: thanks to its research and real estate divisions, it counts as many managers and technicians as workers; it played a pioneering role in Europe, especially in former Czechoslovakia, where it acquired a foothold as early as 1986 (with the hotel forum in Bratislava); lastly, CBC often works with prominent architects, like Richard Meier, who designed the Canal+ head office building, and Ricardo Bofill, responsible for the Swift head office building in Belgium. In 1997, CBC's activities were merged with SGE's other construction businesses within Campenon Bernard.
>Gilbert Simonet (1932-1998)
After graduating in civil engineering, Gilbert Simonet joined Bouygues in 1960 and remained with the company until the creation of CBC in 1982. Simonet, initially hired by Bouygues as a works manager, was later assigned to property and construction activities. An influential member of the construction industry like his partner Henri Becq, through CBC, he tried to show that construction "is mostly a question of brains".
>Paul Naudo (Chairman from 1981 to 1984)
Bourdin et Chaussé
Bourdin et Chaussé has been present in Africa since the early 1950s. In Niger, it took part in the construction of the Uranium road from Tahoua to Arlit with Fougerolles, another French company. Both the country and the company benefited from this project, which linked urban centres in the southwest and northwest.
>Raymond Soulas (Chairman from december 1979 to july 1980)
Raymond Soulas, born in Paris on 18 October 1918, was educated at the Lycée Saint-Louis and the Ecole Polytechnique. During the occupation he was deported to Buchenwald. In 1943 he joined SGE as chief engineer and in 1960 was made Managing Director of Tramarance, the company responsible for civil engineering at the La Rance tidal power plant (1960-1967). In 1971, he was named Executive Vice-President and in 1977 Board member and Managing Director of SGE. He was Chairman and CEO of SGE from December 1979 to July 1980. He was Chairman and CEO of Sea Tank Co. from its inception and held the same positions at SGE-TPI. Instrumental in the Sainrapt et Brice merger, he became its Vice-Chairman and CEO in 1979. A year later he was appointed Vice-Chairman and CEO of SGE. Following the acquisition by Saint-Gobain, he remained on the board but retired from all his other positions in 1988.
The Brotonne bridge, built in 1977, marked a decisive stage in the construction of cable-stayed bridges with prestressed concrete aprons.
The structure is 1,278.4 metres long and comprises a cable-stayed bridge with three spans, respectively 143.5 metres, 320 metres and 143;5 metres long. The apron is 3.8 metres high throughout its length and includes two throughways 6.5 metres wide, a central separation 3.2 metres wide, and two sidewalks 1.5 metres wide.
>Cabora Bassa dam
The construction of the Cabora Bassa dam over the Zambeze river turned out to be one of GTM's most difficult projects. The site was beset by external problems, including the strength of the river's flow, as well as acts of sabotage and guerrilla warfare. Ten thousand people worked on the structure, which is 165 metres high and 320 metres long.
>Georges Pompidou Centre in Paris
The Pompidou Centre in Paris was designed by Renzo Piano and Richard Rogers and built by GTM. The centre is undoubtedly one of the most striking buildings of the latter half of the XXth century in Paris, though the public initially had trouble accepting the huge structure's presence in one of the oldest districts of Paris. The building's high-tech architecture is currently home to a library and to the national museum of modern art.
>The Montreal Olympics Park
Freyssinet was actively involved in the construction of the Olympic complex in Montreal for the 1976 games. The group notably built the velodrome, for which it designed a unique off-centre roof structure supported by four buttresses and 200 flat cylinders, 920 mm in diameter with around 1,000 tonnes of thrust each.
>Water treatment works in Lagos
In response to exponential demographic growth since the 1970s, the authorities of Lagos in Nigeria launched a number of major infrastructure programmes.
The company later to be known as Sogea was a key player in African markets and was able to demonstrate its expertise in this area.
>Pierre-Donatien Cot (Chairman from 1975 to 1981)
Chairman of SGE from 1975 to 1981
At 210 metres, the Montparnasse tower, designed by architects Eugène Beaudouin, Urbain Cassan and Louis Hoym de Marien, provides a striking contrast to the architecture of central Paris. When it was first built, the tower was fiercely criticised and its style generally considered inappropriate, yet it reflects changes in office design. With its smoked-glass façade, the Montparnasse tower ushered in an era of vast, open-plan offices.
>Creation of GTIE, under the name Union des Entreprises Electriques Régionales (UEER)
The United Kingdom and Ireland join the EEC (European Union)
GTIE, the VINCI group's Energy and Information division, was created in 1972 under the name Union des Entreprises Electriques Régionales (UEER). It was designed to bring together three long-standing, recognised companies in the electrical sector: MJB (the result of from the merger of Mors with Jean Bouchon) Garczynski Traploir and Fournié Grospaud. In 1984, Compagnie Générale des Eaux (now called Vivendi) became the sole shareholder of UEER, which changed its name to GTIE. GTIE made several acquisitions. Soon, it included over one hundred companies. The group became leader in France in electrical engineering.
In 1996, GTIE became a direct subsidiary of SGE, and was expanded to include SDEL and Santerne. With a network of over 700 companies, GTIE is now a leader in Europe in engineering, integration and maintenance of information and energy systems.
>Hendrik Verwoerd dam
On the strength of its reputation in dam construction, Dumez won a contract to build a dam with a record capacity of six million cubic metres in South Africa. Despite the many geographical, technical and human obstacles, Dumez was able to complete the project in 1972.
Entreprises Morillon-Corvol et Courbot was created in 1971 from the merger of two companies with strong reputations in maritime works and harbour construction. Morillon-Courvol was founded in 1885 to operate the sand deposits of the Paris region. It played a crucial role in building the Gennevilliers port and in dredging the Seine river to make it navigable by larger vessels.
Courbot dates back to 1925 and was also very active in the Paris area, though its main markets were France's colonies and overseas territories.
The two companies merged in 1971 under the name EMCC, which became a subsidiary of SGE in 1983 and was integrated into Campenon Bernard.
Viafrance, created in 1971, inherited the expertise and culture of two roadwork companies, Vialit and Viasphalte.
Vialit was founded in 1925 under the impetus of Georges Courtois, who wanted to promote surface coatings and bitumen emulsions. Until 1970, the company was managed by Lionel Ignace, co-founder of USIRF (the French Union of Roadworks Companies) in 1936.
Viasphalte was created in 1933, under the impetus of Entreprises Léon Ballot. After the second world war, it became a subsidiary of Campenon Bernard. Viasphalte owed its success to thorough knowledge of American technology and equipment. By the 1960s, it enjoyed a strong presence in France and abroad. Viasphalte built a 187-km road from Safi to Aqaba in Jordan.
Vialit and Viasphalte's activities, which were complementary, were combined in 1971. In 1997, Viafrance merged with Cochery Bourdin Chaussé to form Eurovia.
>Roger Schulz (Chairman from 1971 to 1974)
Chairman of SGE from 1971 to 1974
>The Fourvières tunnel in Lyon
The construction of the Fourvières tunnel began in 1967 and ended in 1971. The tunnel is 1,853 metres long and is made up of two tubes, with two lanes each. Since it opened, the structure has become a major throughway for the city of Lyon. Some 81,000 vehicles use it daily.
>Creation of the company
Death of Charles de Gaulle
In 1970, France had just 1,000 km of motorways. To accelerate the development of the French network, without draining public resources, the government decided to tap private financing through concessions. Five public works groups, including SGE, GTM and Jean Lefèvre, took part in the creation of Cofiroute, alongside two banks, Société Générale and Paribas. The financial risks were substantial and the investment did not pay off for over 15 years. Since 1970, Cofiroute has built over 800 km of motorways in western France, including the Paris-Poitiers link (A10), the Paris-Le Mans link and the Angers-Nantes link (A11). In 1988, it also launched the first motorway radio station, Autoroute FM (107.7). A 65% subsidiary of VINCI, Cofiroute is now present in Europe, North and South America and has acquired a small foothold in Asia.
>André Chaufour (1903-1999)
André Chaufour was called in by his brother Pierre to help manage Dumez. André and Pierre were highly complementary. André was very attentive to technological innovation. He was responsible for establishing Dumez's international reputation.
Norwest Holst is the result of the merger in 1969 of Holst & Co. with Norwest Construction
Holst & Co., founded in 1918 by a Danish engineer, focused on reinforced concrete structures, whereas Norwest Construction, based in Liverpool as of 1923, was specialised in laying underground cables.
Together, the two companies gave rise to one of the largest building and civil engineering groups in England. In 1991, SGE acquired a controlling interest in Norwest Holst, thereby reinforcing its presence in Europe.
Financial company SOGEPARC was created in 1968, probably under the impetus of Spie Batignolles, which, like GTM, was increasingly interested in parking concessions. By 1974, SOGEPARC managed 23 parking lots. By 1987, the number of lots under management had increased to 37 and the company was listed on the stock market. From then on, SOGEPARC recorded robust growth. In 1997, it was the largest underground car park operator in France, with 78 lots under management, and began stepping up activities abroad.
In 1998, following a successful takeover bid, SOGEPARC became part of the SGE group. VINCI's merger with GTM paved the way for the merger of SOGEPARC with Parcs GTM, which led to the creation in 2001 of the world leader in parking concessions: VINCI Park.
>Construction of the A35 motorway
Entreprise Jean Lefebvre
As early as the 1960s, Entreprise Jean Lefebvre, already a major roadworks player, benefited from the French government's decision to improve motorway infrastructure. In 1970, the company's participation in the creation of Cofiroute, a private concession company, clearly established its leadership
>Saving Abu Simbel in Egypt
In 1954, Nasser decided to build the Aswan dam that would flood the great Nubian temples. Under the aegis of UNESCO, an international initiative to save the temple of Abu Simbel, sanctuary of Ramses II, was launched. GTM took part in the project that consisted in dismantling the great rock temple and reconstructing it 65 metres above Lake Nasser, before it was submerged, once and for all.
>La Rance tidal power plant
The old idea of building a tidal power plant on the Rance estuary finally took shape in 1955. SGE engineers played an active role in the project, which involved cutting through the estuary. Problems, including erosion and tidal swell, built up through the duration of the works, but the civil engineering was completed when General de Gaulle inaugurated the plant on 26 November 1966.
In 1966, Campenon Bernard engineers opened the longest viaduct in France to traffic. The viaduct connected Oleron Island in the Charentes region to the mainland. The structure is 2,862 metres in length. Its apron breaks down into 46 spans, 26 of which project by 79 meters and 16 by nearly 40 metres. x
>André Balency-Béarn (1900-1978)
A graduate of Ecole Centrale and a native of the Béarn region, André Balency-Béarn is a emblematic figure in France in the area of prefabricated structures. Balency-Béarn was obsessed with reforming archaic French practices and travelled to the United States to learn new technologies. His dream was to apply the methods of automobile manufacturing to the building sector. Despite mixed results, the Balency prefabrication method soon spread throughout Europe and the United States. By the end of the 1960s, however the myth of standardised construction had been abandoned.
Campenon Bernard used one of its most innovative techniques to build the Choisy-le-Roi bridge. The structure consists of a prestressed concrete apron and of two piles resting on the river bed. The company employed a technique that had never been used before and that involved the use of a synthetic resin to bind the voussoirs together, an ingenious method that was soon copied by competitors. The site was completed in 1964.
Having launched an international expansion drive, Freyssinet won a contract in 1964 to carry out a study on the Gladesville bridge in Sydney Australia. Today, the bridge no longer holds the world record for bearing surface, with a projection of 305 metres, but it is still a structure that is emblematic for the city of Sydney.
>The Autoroute du Nord
The construction of the northbound motorway from Paris marked an important step in French regional planning and gave Viafrance the opportunity to maximise its expertise. The company also demonstrated high productivity levels.
In the early 1960s, Paris was the first French city to be confronted with exponential growth in automobile traffic and an acute shortage of parking spaces The Paris authorities decided to promote the construction of underground parking lots through concession contracts. In 1963, GTM won the first tender to build and operate a parking lot beneath the Invalides esplanade. This was the beginning of Parcs GTM. The following year, the group won a new contract to build a lot under avenue George V.
Until 1970, the market was limited to Paris, but in the 1970s, several new parking concessions were created in the provinces, in cities like Toulon and Nancy. In the 1980s, under the impetus of Pierre Léon-Dufour, Parcs GTM won new concessions in Paris, before branching out into international markets. VINCI's merger with GTM paved the way for the merger of Parcs GTM with Sogeparc, the other historical player. Vinci Park, the world leader in parking lots managed under concession, was created in 2001.
>Roadworks in Côte-d'Ivoire
Entreprise Jean Lefebvre
The independence of France's former colonies in black Africa did not result in any loss of market share for Entreprise Jean Lefebvre. On the contrary, the group's companies were very active in Guinea under Sékou Touré, and in Côte d’Ivoire under Félix Houphouët-Boigny. Jean Lefebvre adapted smoothly to the new geographical and political realities.
>Shell Lavéra-Berre oil pipeline
In 1963, Sogea took part in the construction of the Lavéra-Berre-St-Auban oil pipeline. Sogea built 22.5 kilometres of the pipeline, which was 124 kilometres long upon completion in 1968.
In the early 1950s, Campenon Bernard was looking for new, more buoyant international markets. The company acquired a foothold in Iran, where it built the Menjil dam on the Sefid Rud in northwestern Iran. The dam was constructed using independent buttresses and was one of the largest of its kind at the time: 106 metres in height and 430 metres in ridge length.
Dokan dam was built between 1953 and 1958 in disastrous circumstances, which included a flood of the Tigris river, the Suez crisis, and revolution in Iraq. Yet Dumez successfully overcame all of these obstacles and delivered the structure, which is 116 metres high and 360 metres wide at the ridge, in 1958. The project was a source of considerable prestige for the company managed by the Chaufour brothers.
To relieve traffic congestion in Havana and enable the city to free up new urban spaces, GTM proposed to build a tunnel that proved far less expensive than the bridge solution recommended by US competitors. The structure was 1,600 metres long and was completed using five pre-stressed concrete caissons, which were more resistant than the weighted metal caissons used in the United States. This was demonstrated when a tidal wave in early 1958 had virtually no impact on the project. On the strength of this success, GTM signed another similar contract with the Cuban city.
The Savines bridge, over the Serre-Ponçon reservoir in the Hautes-Alpes department, was built in just twenty months, from 1958 to 1960. Building the bridge, which is 924 metres long, involved installing twelve separate elements, which each consisted in a pile constructed using sliding formwork and no fixed scaffolding (each pile being of a different height), and two brackets built by cantilevering, one voussoir at a time.
>René Gonon (1906-2001)
René Gonon was born in 1906. He studied at the Lycée Ampère in Lyon, and later at Ecole Polytechnique and Ecole des Ponts et Chaussées. His first job was with the national railway authority, SNCF, where he was in charge of the North region. He did not join GTM until 1951. He was appointed chairman six years later in 1957 until 1972. His influence continued long after that. Gonon had a gift for innovation and his actions were guided by team spirit, trust and frankness.
>Lake Pontchartrain bridge
By 1956, STUP (the future Freyssinet) had established a strong reputation in civil engineering structures. The State of Louisiana chose Eugène Freyssinet's company to play a consulting role on the construction of the longest bridge in the world. The spans for this 38-kilometre bridge, were prefabricated on shore. The bridge crossed the Lake Pontchartrain wildlife reserve.
The Nebeur dam, located on the Mellegue river, is 71 metres high and 470 metres wide and was built between 1949 and 1955. To build the dam, Dumez experimented with a system of self-sliding formwork. The project established the company's reputation once and for all.
As of 1945, Deschiron took part in the construction of major hydraulic and thermal plants ordered by EDF. In the early 1950s, it played a major role in building a hydroelectric power plant at Gerstheim falls in the Bas-Rhin region. The project included the construction of a dock wall and of a factory that was later used by Rhône Poulenc.
>Improvement of Bin-el-Ouidane
In the 1950s, Campenon Bernard won many contracts in Latin America, especially in Venezuela. On of its most spectacular achievements in the country is the viaducts connecting the capital city Caracas to La Guaira harbour. At the time, the structures' arches were the largest ever built in South America.
In 1951, Sainrapt et Brice took over Travaux Afrique. The latter was initially based in Senegal, but soon expanded into Mauritania, Guinea, Togo, Benin and Niger. Travaux Afrique was present in construction, drilling and civil engineering. In 1967, it bought out Sofratom, which had been present in Africa since 1949, and formed SATOM. In the 1970s, the new company was awarded prestigious projects such as the Arlit mining complex, the Japoma rail bridge in Cameroon, and the Saudi embassy in Chad. As a subsidiary of Sainrapt et Brice, it reported 1979 sales that were equal to 70% of the parent company figure. SATOM was one of the biggest assets contributed by Sainrapt et Brice in the 1981 merger with SGE. Since 1984, the company has developed close ties with Sogea and plays a major role in Africa, particularly in roadworks.
>Dam on the N'Zilo river
Belgian group CFE was particularly active in developing the Belgian Congo until the country's independence in 1960. From 1945 to 1955, business in the country was brisk. The dam near Kolwezi is one of the major projects carried out to modernise the country's infrastructure and facilitate mining.
>Building in Algiers
Dumez's subsidiary in Algeria has been present in the country since 1941 and has benefited from strong demand in the construction sector. It notably constructed several buildings for Shell, for the public housing office in Oran and for the Algerian electricity and gas utility.
>Galion bridge in Rio de Janeiro
The Galion bridge in Rio de Janeiro was one of the first vertical lift bridges that established prestressed concrete as the preferred material. Compared with ordinary reinforced concrete, prestressed concrete structures involve cables. The structures are therefore lighter and can project further. Comparable structures in reinforced concrete would collapse under their own weight.
Construction of the Génissiat dam began in 1939, but the works slowed considerably during the war. When the project was finally completed in 1949, it was the largest hydroelectrically complex in Europe, including a gravity dam 103.7 metres high, a 53 million cubic metre reservoir, and a power plant that was already producing 1.55 billion kWh in 1949. The Génissiat project is a reference. It combined high productivity with progressive social policies, including the construction of worker housing, the development of sanitary services, and the support of cultural and sports activities.
>Jean Matheron (Chairman from 1947 to 1971)
Jean Matheron has graduate from Ecole Polytechnique and Ecole nationale des Ponts et Chaussées. He married the eldest daughter of Alexandre Giros, co-founder of SGE. In 1931, he became a member of the Board of Directors and, after World War II, he replaced Henri Laborde-Milaa as chairman. He remained chairman of the company for nearly a quarter of a century and worked to promote its reputation, while embodying the spirit of the founding family. His policies were guided by great financial caution, as reflected in his refusal to record work that was not actually completed in the balance sheet.
Sainrapt et Brice
The port of Dunkirk was seriously damaged during World War II and had to be rebuilt after the liberation of France, which began by treating its wounds, before launching a modernisation programme.
Chantiers Modernes was created in 1946 by former resistance fighter Hubert Touya. From the start, the company enjoyed strong growth. Specialised in earthmoving, Chantiers Modernes soon moved into civil engineering. The company was involved in several projects submitted by EDF, as well as roadworks, and various construction sites in Africa. In 1988, Dumez acquired an interest in the company, which refocused on metropolitan France. Today, Chantiers Modernes is a subsidiary of GTM Construction, and is present essentially in the Ile-de-France region.
>Hubert Touya (1907-1983)
A native of the Béarn region and a fondateur of Chantiers Modernes, Hubert Touya was a graduate of l'Ecole des Mines. After the French defeat in 1940, he joined the Resistance. He was arrested in February 1944, tortured and imprisoned at Neungamme and Ravensbrück until the liberation of the camps.
In 1946, he founded Chantiers Modernes, a company that took part in the country's reconstruction and modernisation.
In 1944, anticipating on the reconstruction needs of post-war France, MM. Raimond and Metrich, architects in Lyon, founded Société Industrielle de Constructions Rapides (SICRA). After carrying out several emergency construction projects, the company began work on standardised housing projects. Unable to develop fast enough on its own, SICRA became part of SGE in 1954 and spearheaded SGE's construction activities. In a 1960s advertisement, SICRA made the following claim: "SICRA can give you the building you need in just 90 days. Just choose from our stock of prefabricated units". A close partner of the French national education authorities in the Paris area, SICRA was integrated into SGE subsidiary Sogea in 1986. Within Sogea, SICRA is a leader in the Paris market and has continued to expand in the renovation, housing and services sectors.
>Edmé Campenon and Eugène Freyssinet create STUP (Société Technique pour l'Utilisation de la Précontrainte), which will later become Freyssinet.
Alain Turing establishes the theoretical principles of the computer.
Created to market prestressed concrete (1943-1962)
Freyssinet was founded in 1943 under the name Société Technique pour l’Utilisation de la Précontrainte (STUP). Edme Campenon, the founder of Campenon Bernard, wanted to apply the patents for prestressed concrete filed in 1928 by Eugène Freyssinet. Prestressed concrete is reinforced concrete whose performance is enhanced by built-in stress, which offsets the external stress the concrete is subjected to. The new process, which allowed for substantial savings in steel and concrete, proved extremely useful in France during the reconstruction period that followed World War II. In just a few years, STUP became a recognised specialist in the construction of bridges and runways, but the company's performance was largely driven by Eugène Freyssinet exceptional creativity.
Breaking into international markets (1963-1981)
In the early 1960s, STUP lost its founder and faced increased competition in prestressed technology. The company overcame these difficulties by accelerating expansion abroad, as reflected in the change of name from STUP to Freyssinet International in 1976. Innovation, as demonstrated by the Rio-Niterio bridge in Brazil, and the Montreal Olympics centre, remained a key value for Freyssinet International engineers and a major asset.
Global leadership (1982-2000)
In the early 1980s, Freyssinet experienced problems and was forced to divest some of its foreign subsidiaries. The company's technological expertise continued to be highly valued and the company eventually recovered its momentum. Projects such as the Normandy bridge in France, the Vasco de Gama bridge in Portugal, Cardiff stadium in the United Kingdom, and the Hibernia platform off Newfoundland all represent spectacular achievements that make Freyssinet the world leader in specialised civil engineering.
>Jean Lefebvre (born in 1913)
Jean Lefebvre was the son of Charles Lefebvre, the founder of a roadworks company. Jean joined his father's business Salviam in 1938, while studying for a doctorate in law, which he defended in 1941. At his father's death in 1940, he became head of Compagnie Industrielle des Fillers, which he renamed Entreprise Jean Lefebvre, and was then appointed head of Salviam. He remained chairman until 1971. He held numerous honorific positions with the Paris Chamber of Commerce as well as the national association of legal experts.
CAPAG CETRA, founded in 1938 by Louis Ducatel under the name Entreprise Moderne de Canalisation, is a prime example of successful diversification from pipe systems to large infrastructure. After World War II, the company won major pipe installation contracts in the Paris area and the north of France. In 1953, it was in charge of building the Paris-Le Havre pipeline, a vital structure for the development of the Paris area. CAPAG CETRA also specialised in laying pipes under rivers in France and in Algeria. In the 1960s, it started developing a construction and civil engineering division to handle contracts for the Montereau and Porcheville power plants. In 1975, following the retirement of founder Louis Ducatel, CAPAG CETRA merged with Campenon Bernard.
>Ernest Weyl (Chairman from March 1937 to July 1937)
A graduate of Ecole Polytechnique from the Alsace region, Ernest Weyl began his career with a state-owned industrial company before joining the General Tobacco Office of the Ottoman Empire. Noticed by Louis Loucheur, he became a key player at the Ministry of Armament and, as of 1922, he was appointed deputy director of SGE. After the death of Alexandre Giros in March 1937, Ernest Weyl became chairman of SGE for a short period until his own death on the 1st of July 1 of the same year.
>Henry Laborde Milaa (Chairman from 1937 to 1947)
Born in 1886, Henri Laborde Milaa graduated from Polytechnique in the Ponts et Chaussées corps. Incorporated as an army engineer, he fought at Verdun, where he was badly wounded. He joined SGE in August 1919 as works manager and was noticed by Alexandre Giros, who appointed him General Manager in 1925. Henri Laborde Milaa played a key role in the company's recovery. Appointed deputy director in 1933, he was particularly interested in electricity and established himself as Alexandre Giros's successor. He was appointed Chairman of SGE on 29 September 1937 and it fell to him to manage the company with caution and perspicacity during the war. He gave up his functions in 1947 to Jean Matheron.
>Roadworks at Etaples in northern France
Entreprises Albert Cochery was present in the north of France since its creation and was involved in modernising the local road network. The nearby presence of factories manufacturing tarmacadam made the task easier. Tarmacadam is made from foundry slag, a by-product of the steel mills traditionally based in northern and eastern France.
>Pierre Chaufour (1901-1970)
A graduate of Ecole Central, Pierre Chaufour married Alexandre Dumez's only daughter and was hired by his father-in-law as a works foreman. Upon his father-in-law's death, the took control of the company and proved a great leader. Stranded in Algeria in 1942, he joined the Free French. After the liberation of France, he became honorary chairman of the veterans from his division. Pierre Chaufour died in1970 and his brother André succeeded him to head the company.
The Kembs project in the Haut-Rhin region was undertaken to improve a section of the Rhine river, in order to produce and distribute electrical power in Alsace. The hydroelectric plant was completed in August 1932. With an average annual output of 850 millions kWh, Kembs is the largest low-fall hydroelectric plant in France.
The Truyère site was one of the most difficult episodes of SGE's early history. The works got underway in 1910 and continued until the eve of World War II. SGE built a factory, the big Sarrans gravity dam (105 metres in height and 220 million in ridge length), and the Bromme hydroelectric complex, generating 68,000 kW of power. Few sites have caused so many serious financial problems. It took all the skill that Alexandre Giros and his successors could muster to get the company out of this predicament.
>Oued Fodda dam
The Oued Fodda dam was built between 1926 and 1932 for the Algerian bureau of central irrigation. Oued Fodda is a concrete gravity dam, 100 metres in height, 65 metres in width at the base and 182 metres in length at the ridge. Building the dam and its ancillary structures required 320,000 cubic metres of concrete. General view of the structure (21/02/1937)
>Gaston Traploir (1889-1968)
The son of a railway inspector, Gaston Traploir trained as an engineer and specialised in reinforced concrete and electricity. Traploir found an ideal partner in André Garczynski. During a trip to the United States in the 1930s, he discovered of Taylorism and decided to apply it to his own company. A talented inventor and shrewd businessman, he updated the company's organisation. He remained chairman until the mid-1960s.
>Eugène Freyssinet (1879-1962)
Eugène Freyssinet was born in the Corrèze region and went to school in Paris, at the Lycée Chaptal, and later at Ecole Polytechnique and Ecole des Ponts et Chaussées. After working for the government for nearly ten years, he was active in developing Entreprises Limousin, of which he became a partner. Freyssinet performed amazing technical feats, thanks to his love of innovation.
In 1929, he left Entreprises Limousin because the company was not interested in developing prestressed concrete, which Freyssinet had invented a year earlier. The technology was later developed with the support of Edme Campenon and STUP, a company created to market Freyssinet's invention, through which Freyssinet was able to fully express his talent.
>Bourdin et Chaussé
In 1928, Sylvain Bourdin and Louis Chaussé teamed up to create a road construction company, focused mainly on markets in western France. As of 1945, Bourdin et Chaussé, expanded beyond its regional base and successfully moved into Africa, where it built the "road of the sands" in the Sahara, and participated in the construction of the Uranium road in Niger. These projects, some of which were risky, established the company's reputation. In 1977, it became a subsidiary of SGE and merged with Cochery in 1985. The new company, Cochery Bourdin Chaussé, merged with Viafrance in 1997 to form Eurovia.
>Louis Chaussé (1897-1980)
Louis Chaussé was the son of a miner who worked in the slate mines of the Anjou region. After World War I, he was hired by roadworks company Gaétan Brun. In 1928, he teamed up with Sylvain Bourdin to create a roadworks company, Bourdin Chaussé. Upon Bourdin's death, Louis Chaussé was left in charge of the company they had created. Chaussé was close to his employees and enjoyed making frequent visits to the sites. He succeeded in making his company a leader in France.
>Louis Loucheur (Founder)
Louis Loucheur was born in 1872 to a protestant family based in Roubaix. Like his partner Alexandre Giros, he was a graduate of Ecole Polytechnique and in addition to his professional activities, was very involved in politics. Loucheur was noticed for his organisational talents and his knowledge of the weapons sector and, in 1916, he was appointed Under-Secretary of State in charge of artillery and munitions, a vital job in war time. In 1917, he replace Albert Thomas as Minister of Armament, and gave priority to intensifying production.
At the end of the war, he was appointed Minister of Industrial Reconstruction, then Minister of the Liberated Regions. He played a major role in the settlement of German reparations, though the surrounding dispute led to his resignation in 1922. In 1928, Loucheur, who always supported progressive policies, succeeded in getting the so-called Loucheur law voted. The law called for the construction of 200,000 low-cost housing units over a period of five years. The basis for increased government involvement in the sector was thus established. Louis Loucheur devoted the last years of his life in pursuit of the European ideal, albeit in vain. He died in 1931.
>Sylvain Bourdin (1884-1950)
A native of the Anjou region, Sylvain Bourdin studied law before taking over a steamroller company in Angers. A shrewd businessman, he showed little interest for technology but his business acumen and close ties with many Ponts et Chaussé engineers were enough to establish his company's reputation. In 1928, he teamed up with the more technically minded and pragmatic Louis Chaussé. The roadworks company they founded, Bourdin et Chaussé, gradually became a leader in France.
>Charles Lefebvre founded Salviam, later to become l'Entreprise Jean Lefebvre
Release of the first talking movie, Alan Crossland's The Jazz Singer.
>Entreprise Jean Lefebvre
Originally a family roadworks company, Entreprise Jean Lefebvre's roots go back to 1927, when Charles Lefebvre founded Salviam ("Save the way"). Charles Lefebvre was one of the first to use slag from foundries as ballast. Seven years later, he developed a new type of binder and created a company to manufacture fillers and special binders.
In 1941, Jean Lefebvre, who had already demonstrated a talent for innovation in his father's company, took control of both companies. The following year, the filler and binder company became Entreprise Jean Lefebvre (EJL). In 1944, Jean Lefebvre was awarded a contract by the allied forces to repair Orly airport's runways. In the process, he discovered the efficiency of American equipment.
Upholding the company slogan ("Jean Lefebvre works for you"), EJL helped build modern France and acquired a foothold in Africa, with the Dakar-Kaolak road in Senegal and the Cocoa loop in Côte-d’Ivoire. EJL increased its foothold by taking over two companies, Reveto, and Gaétan Brun.
In the early 1970s, EJL took part in the creation of Cofiroute, demonstrating once again the quality of its roadworks expertise. The group enjoyed strong growth abroad, in Africa as well as in the Middle East.
EJL was restructured in 1981 and came under GTM's control in 1986. EJL continued to develop in France, while expanding in the United States, Canada and Chile. Through GTM, it became a subsidiary of the VINCI group in 2000, and merged with Eurovia.
In 1926, Albert Cochery created Entreprises Albert Cochery, specialised in hydrocarbon-based binders for road maintenance. Cochery was present both in the manufacture and implementation of tarmacadam, a blend of foundry slag and tar that was not widely used in France at the time.
From 1945 on, distillation factories declined as natural gas deposits were discovered and the steel industry went in recession. Entreprises Albert Cochery acquired Rol Lister & Cie and modified its strategy to become a modern roadworks company and a manufacturer of new road surfaces.
After the founder's withdrawal in 1969, his successors continued to grow the company and to acquire capital interests in various roadworks businesses
In 1985, following SGE's acquisition of a majority interest in the company, Cochery merged with Bourdin et Chaussé. The new unit, Cochery Bourdin Chaussé, merged with Viafrance in 1997 to form Eurovia.
In 1926, Louis Santerne opened a small electrician's shop in Arras. The business did not truly play a significant role until 1949, under the leadership of the founder's son. During the post-war boom, Santerne's growth was driven by railway contracts, the reconstruction of water towers and demand for new power lines from electrical utility EDF. Santerne, specialised in the installation of electrical equipment in France, became part of SGE in 1996. The company is currently a subsidiary of GTIE.
>Travaux du Midi
Travaux du Midi was created in Marseille in 1926, under the name Bertagnol et Compagnie. In 1934, Travaux du Midi became part of Grands Travaux de Marseille (GTM), but kept its family organisation. The company did not truly take off until 1961, with the end of the Algerian war and the return to France of European families living in Algeria, who needed new homes and infrastructure. To meet surging demand, Travaux du Midi began to industrialise manufacturing processes. The company was proud of its success in carving out strong positions throughout the south of France. By the early 1980s, it was present from Bordeaux to Nice. An innovative, dynamic company, Travaux du Midi is part of GTM Construction, a subsidiary of the VINCI group.
>Albert Cochery (1898-1981)
Albert Cochery was born in the north of France and lost his parents at a young age. He distinguished himself in World War I, by providing the military staff with vital information. In 1926, he founded Entreprise Albert Cochery, which used by-products from the steel industry, such as slag from the steel foundries, to make tarmacadam. This simple but brilliant idea fuelled the company's growth and made Albert Cochery an emblematic figure of the profession.
Caroni was founded in 1925, when Jean Caroni, a former GTM engineer, decided to create his own company in the north of France. Under his helmsmanship, Caroni became a specialist in pile driving and sheeting and earthmoving works. During the post-war reconstruction period, the company built the Don-Sainghin lock, one of the largest in France at the time. In 1950, it rebuilt the Denain lock. After that, it developed other construction activities, becoming a construction specialist in the process. CBC acquired the company in 1983.
In 1925, Raymond Fournié and Henri Grospaud teamed up to create Fournié-Grospaud, a company based in Tarbes. Until 1945, the company worked almost exclusively on providing electrical power to the railways of southern France. After the war, electrical utilities were nationalised and the company was forced to diversify. While Fournié-Grospaud's main customers remained the national utility EDF and the railway authority SNCF, the company began offering maintenance contracts. In 1970, Fournié-Grospaud teamed up with Garczynski Traploir and Mors Jean Bouchon, within a holding company called UEER, from which GTIE (Générale de Travaux et d’Installation Electrique) was created. Fournié-Grospaud became part of SGE through GTIE in 1996.
>Supplying Bonewith water from the Bou Redine river
In the 1930s, France's North African colonies saw the installation of several pipe networks. Eau et Assainissement (the future Sogea) was involved in a major project on the Bou Redine river to supply Bone in Algeria.
>Lionel Ignace (1900-1997)
Lionel Ignace helped create Société Française du Vialit, alongside Georges Courtois in 1924 and was put in charge of the company in 1955.
Lionel Ignace is also a great figure of the roadworks industry, through his activities within the business organisations in the sector. He is co-founder of the union of roadworks syndicates in France. He was elected chairman of the syndicate of roadworks entrepreneurs in France in 1953 and was later appointed honorary vice-chairman of the national federation of civil engineering.
>The Voulzie river
Works on the Voulzie river represented a key water treatment project for the Paris area. Construction began in the 1920s and 1930s. This technical success established Eau et Assainissement, the future Sogea and a subsidiary of Pont-à-Mousson at the time, as one of the major French specialists in the sector.
Founded in 1922, Froment Clavier was specialised in the construction of grain silos made from reinforced concrete. At the time, Grands Moulins de Paris was one of its main clients. In its search for new outlets, Froment Clavier started exporting its technology to the French colonies. The company also took part in the construction of subsidised housing, according to the wishes of Louis Loucheur. To meet the needs of post-war France, the company diversified into new areas, from housing to industrial construction, and urban infrastructure, while retaining close ties to the flour mills. In the early 1980s, the company had problems modernising its business and finding new clients. Limited to small-scale projects, Froment Clavier was acquired by Campenon Bernard in 1964. The Froment Clavier brand was phased out.
>Creation of Campenon Bernard
Foundation of the French Communist Party.
Campenon Bernard was created in 1920 by a young engineer, Edme Campenon, and an entrepreneur, André Bernard. The company focused on the construction of railways, industrial buildings, roads, and hydraulic infrastructure. The construction of the Chambon dam in 1927 was its first big success. After initial difficulties, the project became a test site for new, more resistant concrete. As a result, yields improved and output reached a record-breaking one thousand cubic metres a day.
Anticipating new technological developments, Campenon Bernard teamed up with Eugène Freyssinet and gave the latter the opportunity to use prestressing technology in major infrastructure. Just before World War II, Campenon Bernard dominated the civil engineering market. During the war, the company pursued honourable business objectives and took part in the creation of STUP (société technique pour l’utilisation de la précontrainte) to market processes developed by Eugène Freyssinet.
In the post-war period, the group was involved in a number of construction sites in France, the colonies and other countries. Wherever it went, Campenon Bernard provided ingenious and innovative technical solutions as shown by projects such as the Marcoule nuclear power plant and the Choisy-le-Roi bridge. In 1962, however, the virtuous cycle ended with the death of Edme Campenon and Eugène Freyssinet.
The engineers of Campenon Bernard continued to renew the group's expertise, thanks to civil and military engineering contracts and the construction of several bridges as well as the Oléron viaduct. From 1962 to 1970, over half of all bridges in France were the work of Campenon Bernard. Projects such as the Montparnasse tower in Paris and the Montreal subway further raised the group's reputation, in an environment of heightened competition.
In 1984, Compagnie Générale des Eaux took over Campenon Bernard. The company won recognition for the construction of the Jules Verne viaduct in Amiens, where it broke the world record for thrust (15,300 tonnes). Campenon Bernard joined SGE in 1988. Under the name Campenon Bernard-SGE, it was responsible for prestigious projects, such as the Stade de France stadium and the Vasco de Gama bridge in Lisbon.
Construction engineers André Garczynski and Gaston Traploir met in the trenches of World War I. After the war, they created a company in Le Mans to build electrical networks. The company soon became a leader in western France. In the 1930s, it added water services to its business portfolio.
After world War II, Garczynski Traploir became a subsidiary of Compagnie Générale des Eaux. The company recorded spectacular industrial growth, driven by demand for high-voltage power lines, water towers and power plants.
In 1970, Garczynski Traploir's activities were combined with those of Mors Jean Bouchon and Fournié-Grospaud within a holding company called UEER, which later became GTIE. Garczynski Traploir is specialised in electrical power, information and communication technologies and has continued to develop within GTIE, VINCI's Energy and Information division.
>André Garczynski (1888-1944)
André Garczynski's family was originally from Poland and settled in France in the Sarthe region during the Napoleonic wars. Garczynski studied at the Electricity Institute of Grenoble. In 1919, he founded a company with Gaston Traploir. Garczynski was an automobile lover. He was also very interested in social issues and was actively involved in the creation of Caisses d'Assurances Sociales, ancestor of the French public health insurance system. In 1940 he stayed behind in Le Mans to look after his company. He was arrested by the Gestapo in 1943 and deported to Buchenwald, where he died a year later.
>Charles Rebuffel (1861-1942)
Born in a family of Marseilles traders, Charles Rebuffel joined GTM after graduating from Ecole Polytechnique and Ecole des Ponts et Chaussées. At GTM, he was in charge of building a sewage system for the city of Marseille. Thanks to the success of this first project, he soon became key player at GTM and was eventually appointed chairman from 1917 to 1940.
An influential player in the electricity sector, he sat on the boards of several businesses and chaired five companies, though GTM was always his main concern. Thanks to the help of his managers, he organised the group into a powerful network of subsidiaries and industrial holdings.
Cegelec's history is closely linked to the development of the electricity and energy sectors in France and Europe. It has its roots in the creation of the French CGEE (Compagnie Générale d'Entreprises Electriques) in 1913. From success to expansion, the company has become an international group providing technological services to companies and public authorities.
Creation of the CGEE, holding of electrical companies, in order to install and build electricity networks, lines, substations and power plants necessary for France's electrification.
1971 Formation of CGEE Alsthom, after the takeover in 1967 of the SGE (Public works and civil engineering, construction, industrial works, electricity services). This was Europe's largest electrical engineering company, with 13,000 employees and sales of almost one billion French francs.
GEC (General Electric Company) acquired a 24,50% stake in CGEE Alsthom and transferred its industrial control businesses to this company. CGEE Alsthom changed its name to Cegelec.
Cegelec was bought by Alstom and became afterwards Alstom Contracting.
Alstom Contracting was acquired by its managers and employees in a LMBO (leverage management buy-out) with the backing of financial institutions and was renamed Cegelec. A second LMBO took place in 2006.
Qatari Diar, a global actor in Real Estate Development and Investment, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Qatar Investment Authority, acquired Cegelec.
14 April 2010
Entry into force of the strategic partnership between Qatari Diar and VINCI. Cegelec becomes a wholly-owned VINCI subsidiary.
>Edmé Campenon (1872-1962)
Edmé Campenon came from an old aristocratic family, who intended him to study at Ecole Polytechnique. Instead, he chose to enlist in the Army as a private and to see the world. In 1910, he entered the civil engineering sectorand ten years later, founded Campenon Bernard, with André Bernard, a young engineering graduate of Arts et Métiers. The success of the venture is due to the quality of the Campenon-Bernard teams, the talent of Eugène Freyssinet, and Edmé Campenon's many relations. Campenon remained chairman of Campenon Bernard until 1958.
>Balency et Schuhl
Balency et Schuhl was founded in 1909 by MM.Canal and Schulh, pioneers in reinforced concrete technology known for the unusually solid framework they used to build the Georges V hotel in Paris. André Balency-Béarn took over the company's management as of 1935. Balency et Schulh took part in the construction of the CNIT conference centre in La Défense. It also focused on heavy prefabrication techniques, and developed a process for prefabricated individual homes. In 1965, Balency et Schuhl was purchased by Pont-à-Mousson. Alongside GTBA, it helped create SOBEA, which later became Sogea.
>Amédée Alby ( Chairman from 1908 à 1932)
>Lighting for the Salon de l'Automobile
In the early XXth century, France was enthralled by the miracle of electricity. All exhibitions and popular events used electricity in their decor. Saunier Duval (the future SDEL) was already one of the most innovative specialists in the sector.
Founded in 1907 by Maurice Tricon, a pioneer of reinforced concrete, GTBA (Grands Travaux en Béton Armé) often worked with Auguste Perret on projects such as the public works museum in Paris (now the Economic and Social Council building) and the reconstruction of Le Havre. The company's second chairman, the son of the founder, Paul-Maurice Tricon-Dunois, was unusual in that he was both an Army general and an entrepreneur in civil engineering. In 1965, Pont-à-Mousson acquired GTBA to add a construction division to SOBEA, the future Sogea.
Charles Saunier, a graduate of Ecole Polytechnique, and Maurice Duval created Saunier Duval et Compagnie in 1907. The company kept its name until 1990. Charles Saunier was a former manager of Bengel Frères, a manufacturer of public heating and lighting systems, especially gas-powered. The new company focused on exactly the same sectors and won prestigious contracts, providing lighting for automobile and aviation trade fairs at the Grand Palais in Paris and for the 1931 colonial exhibition.
Saunier Duval diversified into the manufacturing of water heaters and gas powered heaters. After World War II, Saunier Duval opened several branches and acquired leading players in the gas and electricity sectors.
The company gradually reorganised around several industrial activities (gas, bathroom installations, public lighting, electrical engineering and industrial automation systems). After becoming a subsidiary of Saint-Gobain, Saunier Duval became part of SGE in 1985. Today it is a subsidiary of GTIE.
>Général Tricon-Dunois (1896-1996)
The son of GTBA's founder, Tricon-Dunois was unusual in that he was both a general and an entrepreneur. In 1940, he fled to London to join the Free French under General Charles de Gaulle. Appointed to General Leclerc, he was actively involved in rallying the African colonies to the cause, before taking part in operations in Italy, as well as in the liberation of Marseille and Strasbourg. His military career ended in Germany after the fall of the Reich.
Tunzini, a company specialised in heating equipment, was founded by Ernest Tunzini in 1906. Tunzini designed the heating systems of the Printemps department store in Paris, and then went on to promote the advantages of ventilation systems, before becoming a pioneer of air conditioning technology. In the 1950s, the family company became international and entered industrial air conditioning markets abroad.
In 1966, after sixty years as Chairman, Ernest Tunzini retired and sold his company to Pont-à-Mousson. From then on, Tunzini underwent two major mergers, in 1968 with Améliorair (an aero thermal company founded in 1935) and in 1976 with climate control specialist Nessi. Tunzini became Tunzini Nessi Entreprises d’Equipements (TNEE). In 1985, it became a subsidiary of SGE, shortly after the latter's acquisition by Saint-Gobain Pont-à-Mousson.
The company was then renamed Tunzini, and in the 1990s, it reinforced its positions in thermal equipment, notably for climate control and fire protection. In March 2000, the thermal mechanics division, which included G+H Montage, a major player in the German insulation market, was transferred to GTIE, VINCI's Energy and Information division.
Thinet was founded in 1905 in Saint-Romain-le-Puy, a small town of the Loire region. The founder, Antoine Thinet, developed a strong regional business base, which later enabled the company to expand nationwide, as of 1936, under the founder's son, Marcel Thinet. The latter implemented two principles of modern management: site planning and industrialisation. Under his leadership, Thinet moved to Paris and built several subsidised housing projects in the Saint-Denis and Suresnes suburbs. It also worked on the Achères water treatment plant and opened an office in Abidjan.
In 1965, Thinet became an SGE subsidiary to increase its financial clout. It's performance was excellent until the early 1980s, when it encountered serious financial problems. SGE decided to keep only the activities in southern France and to integrate them to Sogea.
>Creation of SGE
Marconi invents the wireless signal, the precursor of the radio.
Franz Brüggemann, a construction engineer, founded the Brüggemann company in Duisberg, Germany in 1899. The company did fairly well at first, but did not truly take off until after World War II, when it participated in the reconstruction of major German infrastructure, such as the Breidenbacher Hof hotel in Dusseldorf. Brüggemann won a strong reputation as a reliable partner in civil engineering projects, especially maritime and river infrastructure and prefabricated industrial structures. It also strengthened its international presence, especially in Arab countries. In the 1970s, Brüggemann increased its expertise in construction and civil engineering, major infrastructure and turnkey projects. In 1992, Campenon Bernard Construction (CBC) purchased an interest in the company. Five years later, CBC became part of SGE. Since then, Brüggemann's future has been closely linked to that of SGE, now the VINCI group.
Foundation of SGE
In 1899, Alexandre Giros et Louis Loucheur, engineers and graduates of Ecole Polytechnique, founded a civil engineering company, which soon became SGE (Société Générale D'Entreprise). Thanks to buoyant markets in electricity and railway construction, the company was an immediate success. By 1910, SGE was the second-largest company in the sector. During the first world war, the group focused on national defence projects. After the war, despite a sometimes difficult environment, it continued to grow, participating in major projects such as the Truyère and Drac sites. The company was hard hit by World War II and forced to abandon its positions in the colonies. In 1946, SGE was confronted with the French government's decision to nationalise electrical power.
A leader in civil engineering
Under the management of Jean Matheron and Paul Huvelin, Alexandre Giros's sons-in-law, SGE redeployed massively into civil engineering. In projects such as the Génissiat and Bin-el-Ouidane dams and the Rance tidal power plant, SGE demonstrated significant technical expertise, and established itself as the unrivalled leader in the profession. SGE was taken over by Compagnie Générale d’Electricité (now Alcatel). In 1966, it took part in the creation of Cofiroute. In 1982, it merged with Sainrapt et Brice. From 1984 to 1988, the company was part of Saint-Gobain before it was taken over by Compagnie Générale des Eaux (now Vivendi). When SGE merged with Campenon Bernard, also a holding company, it kept its name and legal identity. All of these transactions radically changed SGE's profile, turning it into a holding company with many subsidiaries.
From SGE to VINCI
In the early 1990s, SGE launched several takeovers to reinforce its position in Europe. In 1997, it exchanged household waste treatment and water distribution activities for CGE's (Vivendi) electrical engineering business (GTIE). SGE was thus able to reorganise around four divisions: Construction, Energy and Information, Roads and Concessions. The year 2000 saw several major changes: following Vivendi's withdrawal, SGE became an independent company and changed its name to VINCI. In the second half of 2000, VINCI's successful bid for GTM made it the world leader in the sector, ahead of Skanska of Sweden and Bouygues of France.
>Alexandre Giros (Founder and Chairman, 1932-1937)
Alexandre Giros was born in 1870 and studied at Ecole Polytechnique. In 1899, he teamed up with former Polytechnique classmate Louis Loucheur to found SGE. Alexandre Giros helped promote the use of reinforced concrete and was one of the founders of a business organisation of reinforced concrete companies in 1903.
Giros was also a leading player in the electrical power sector in the XXth century and was active in at least thirteen different companies. In all of his functions, and at SGE, he always applied bold labour policies, but without ever playing a political role, contrary to Louis Loucheur.
Named commander of the Legion of Honor in 1934, he always upheld the values of hard work and family duty. Through his daughters Denise and Madeleine, who respectively married Jean Matheron and Paul Huvelin, two future SGE leaders, the Giros family continued to control the company for a long time after Alexandre Giros's death in 1937.
The birth of a leader
Grands Travaux de Marseille (GTM) was created in Marseille in 1891 by local businessmen to equip the city with a modern sewage system. The work was carried out by Charles Rebuffel, who turned GTM into a leader in French civil engineering. Until 1914, the company recorded steady growth, driven by diversification into new technologies (electrical works, harbour construction and underground structures) and by foreign markets. The war weakened GTM's position and forced it to refocus on industrial construction and electrical works. Efforts to redeploy continued throughout the roaring twenties. During that period, GTM was very successful in the French colonies. Thanks to its presence abroad, the company was less affected by World War II. During the war, it built several electrical facilities (e.g. the Génissiat dam) and carried out projects for the occupation forces.
The post-war boom
The first sites of the post-war reconstruction period allowed GTM to recover quickly. But the group was confronted with the challenge of decolonisation. To sustain growth, GTM relied on its ability to innovate, as reflected in the Havana tunnels and the Savines bridge. As of 1957, under the chairmanship of René Gonon, the company won several contracts in Africa, and notably took part in saving the Abu Simbel temple, in work on the Nile river, and in projects in North and South America and the Middle East. GTM diversified into offshore oil structures, nuclear power plants, and concessions, through parking lots and Cofiroute. GTM succeeded in keeping its historical businesses, while adding new ones.
The age of alliances
In 1982, GTM merged with Entrepose, a company created in 1935 by metallurgist groups, with which GTM had a long-standing partnership. Entrepose contributed complementary businesses and markets, like underground pipe systems and drilling and sounding activities. Entrepose enabled GTM to expand in the Middle East and Latin America. Yet when orderbooks from emerging countries began to shrink, GTM-Entrepose was forced to retrench to European markets. Fortunately, the French market offered many opportunities. GTM-Entrepose was general contractor for the Georges Pompidou Centre and the La Villette science park. In 1987, Dumez acquired an interest in GTM-Entrepose. As of 1994, Dumez and GTM-Entrepose began considering a merger of their construction and civil engineering activities. The merger became effective two years later. The new entity, called Groupe GTM, became part of the VINCI group in 2001.
From metal frames to reinforced concrete (1890-1944)
In 1890, the year Gustave Eiffel finished building the tower named after him, Alexandre Dumez created a company specialised in metal frames. The first world war forced the company to refocus on reinforced concrete. This decision was strengthened with the arrival of Pierre Chaufour, soon joined by his brother André, to head the company. Under their leadership, the Dumez company acquired a lasting foothold in Africa.
The breakthrough (1944-1972)
Thanks to the post-war boom and the surge in housing, the company recorded strong growth in metropolitan France. Even so, Dumez's most spectacular achievements were in Africa and soon afterwards in other continents. The Nebeur dam in Tunisia became a symbol of national pride, the Dokan dam in Iraq strengthened Dumez's international reputation, and with the Hendrik Verwoerd site, Dumez broke existing records in dam construction
A powerful group (1972 -2000)
Organised around several strong subsidiaries, the Dumez group did not suffer from the recession and won several prestigious contracts, including the Yamoussoukro basilica, the new Ministry of Finance in Paris, and the Grand Louvre. Dumez acquired an interest in Chantiers Modernes and, in 1989, bought CFE, the historical leader of the Belgian construction market. Dumez merged with Lyonnaise des Eaux and with GTM, before joining the VINCI group.
>Alexandre Dumez (1864-1932)
A graduate of Ecole Centrale, Alexandre Dumez soon created his own company. In his desire to become the new Gustave Eiffel, he initially specialised in metal frames but was forced to refocus on reinforced concrete, a business for which he showed considerable skill. He found the ideal successor in his son-in-law Pierre Chaufour.
Deschiron was founded in 1885 by Gaston Deschiron, a native of the Creuse region in central France, and operated as a family company. From the start, it developed a fairly diversified business base. Deschiron built several bridges and took part in the construction of the Maginot line. After the second world war, it worked for industry, including steel works and electrical utility EDF(e.g. the Gerstheim falls on the Alsace canal and the Arrighi power plant). SGE acquired an interest in the company in 1958. From then on, Deschiron specialised in earthmoving and made a vital contribution to transport infrastructure projects. In 1982, following the family's withdrawal, Deschiron became a fully-owned subsidiary of SGE. Initially, the company was part of Sogea, but as of 1992, it was integrated into Campenon Bernard.
>Louis Mors (1855-1917)
A graduate of Ecole Centrale in Paris Louis Mors was fascinated by new technologies. He founded a publication specialised in electricity. With his brother, he also designed a new sports car. Mors was also a gifted chemist and a patron of the arts. He helped create a chair in Musicology at the Collège de France.
>Creation of Dumez
Tahiti becomes a French colony.
CCFE was created in Belgium in 1880, under the impetus of Victor Tercelin-Monjot and Frédéric de la Hault, a Belgian entrepreneur specialised in tramway construction.
The company's initial name (Compagnie Générale de Chemins de Fer Secondaires) reflected its focus on regional railways and tramway systems. Soon management started to concentrate on international development and the company was awarded projects on the trans-Iranian railway. The Belgian Congo also became one of its key markets until the country's independence in 1960. International expansion together with increased diversification enabled CFE to withstand the effects of decolonisation.
In 1981, CFE purchased Entreprises Ed. François et fils, a company founded in 1868, and became the largest construction company in Belgium. Six years later, in 1987, Dumez acquired an interest in CFE, which still had a strong presence in the Benelux, Africa and the Middle East. CFE was notably sustained by its powerful dredging subsidiary, which was called DEME (Dredging Environmental and Maritime Engineering) in 1991. VINCI holds 45.25% in CFE, which remains the leader in the Belgian construction market.
>Creation of Etablissements Gibault, Sogea's predecessor
Edison invents the phonograph.
A former subsidiary of Pont-à-Mousson
The story of Eau et Assainissement (the ancestor of Sogea) began in 1878, under the name Etablissements Charles Gibaut. The company did not take the name Eau et Assainissement until 1918, when Pont-à-Mousson decided to add water treatment activities to its traditional foundry business. From the start, Eau et Assainissement was present throughout France, notably in Paris (where it built pipes to supply the city with water from the Voulzie river), Bordeaux and Caen.
It also developed a strong presence in Africa. In 1925, for example, it won a contract to pipe water from the Bou Redine river to Bone in Algeria. A widespread geographical presence helped the group survive the second world war. But Algerian independence in 1961 hastened Eau et Assainissement's merger with Socoman, another Pont-à-Mousson subsidiary with the same chairman and directors.
Pipes and civil engineering
The new company, called Socea, began to diversify under the management of Jacques Lesage. In 1979, it merged with Pont-à-Mousson's construction businesses, Balency-et-Schuhl and GTBA, which had already been merged under the name Balency-Briard. In 1986, the new company, called Sobea, merged with SGE's construction and civil engineering business, and became Sogea, a subsidiary of SGE, now the VINCI group. In France and abroad, through its many subsidiaries, Sogea took part in several projects, such as the Nice airport or the hydraulic and a water treatment plant in Lagos
Although Dodin's origins date back to 1865, the company did not begin to play a major role in maritime and river works until the 1920s. From then on, Abel Dodin, son of the founder, decided to make the company a specialist in these areas.
Dodin enjoyed a strong presence in western France and took advantage of the post-war boom to move into the Paris region, where it carried out work on the Seine and Marne rivers, before moving into the rest of France and abroad. At the beginning of the 1970s, it won a major market to build the Mina Sulman port in Bahrain.
In 1983, Dodin became a subsidiary of the Saint-Gobain group and, later, a subsidiary of Sogea.
>Sainrapt et Brice
Sainrapt et Brice was created in two stages. In 1852, Michel Sainrapt set up a company specialised in consolidation works and special foundations. Upon his death, he was succeeded by his daughter-in-law. In 1901, she teamed up with a young engineer named Alexis Brice, who had been recruited by Michel Sainrapt, to create Sainrapt et Brice. Though Sainrapt et Brice remained a family-owned company, it reported strong growth, thanks to effective use of reinforced concrete, as demonstrated by the construction of the Banque de France branch in Caen in 1922.
During World War II, Sainrapt et Brice chose collaboration with the Germans. Louis-Pierre Brice, Alexis Brice's heir, who was chairman during the war years, was banned from running the company for several years. Sainrapt et Brice, however, was allowed to continue to operate and was awarded major work in the port of Dunkirk in 1947. In the 1950s, it installed electrical power facilities at the Carla falls on the Agout river near Castre.
Sainrapt et Brice successfully expanded in France's overseas territories. The company recorded its greatest successes in Africa, through subsidiary Satom. Satom reported strong growth, while the parent company Sainrapt et Brice suffered a deep recession. Sainrapt et Brice was purchased by Devars-Naudo and merged with SGE in 1981.
Mors, founded in 1851 by a Parisian craftsman, always embraced the latest technologies. The company started out as a specialist in electrical equipment, then focused on railway signals. At the beginning of the XXth century, it moved into automobile construction. Mors's chairmen were Louis and Eugène Mors, the latter a pioneer of the automotive industry, on a par with other great names, such as Bollé, Clément and Michelin.
Mors moved into electrical appliances and even developed a scooter model. It did not decide to focus once and for all on electrical installations until the 1960s. Mors then merged with Jean et Bouchon, a company specialised in electrical installations based in eastern France, and became MJB (Mors Jean Bouchon).
In 1970, holding company UEER brought together Garczynski Traploir, MJB and Fournié-Grospaud. In 1984, after merging with MJB, UEER became GTIE (Générale de Travaux et d’Installations Electriques), the VINCI group's Energy and Information division.
>Creation of Maison Jean et Chabrié
Banque Rothschild opens in Paris.
>Maison Jean et Chabrié
Jean et Chabrié is the VINCI group's oldest company, and a subsidiary of GTIE, VINCI's Energy and Information branch. Jean et Chabrié was awarded its first contract in 1817, under Louis the XVIIIth. The contract consisted in providing candles and firewood to light and heat the Assemblée Nationale building in Paris.