It all started in France in 1911 when the Latil brothers founded Compagnie Générale d’Entreprise Automobiles (CGEA), a truck manufacturing company. They decided to use their trucks for transportation of both passengers and garbage. A thriving new business took off and laid the foundation for the Veolia Transport of today.
The Latil brothers’ small family business grew and in 1980, France’s leading private water management corporation, Générale des Eaux, wishing to enlarge its environmental services, acquired CGEA. The company name CGEA was kept.
Between 1988 and 1991, CGEA experienced large growth in France. The turnover in the transport division rose from 50 to 500 million euro.
First International Developments
In 1992, CGEA saw its first international development in Portugal. In 1996, the company took a big step forward with the expansion into Great Britain, winning several rail contracts. In 1997, CGEA acquired operations in Germany and the following year the company bought the Linjebuss group with activities in Finland, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Belgium and Germany. The company also expanded into Australia and Poland.
Veolia Environnement Group
In 1998, international corporation Général des Eaux initiated the formation of a new growing enterprise named Vivendi. In 2001, Vivendi was divided into two separate groups; Vivendi Environnement (VE) and Vivendi Universal (VU). Both organisations became listed on the stock exchange in France and the United States during 2000–2001. In 2002, VU sold the main part of VE and in the spring 2003 VE launched its new name Veolia Environnement to clearify that there where no longer a VU connection.
Veolia Environnement has four main activities; Veolia Water, Dalkia (energy), Onyx (waste management) and Connex (transport).
CGEA becomes Connex
In May 1999, CGEA Transport AB was created. The company became responsible for management and development in the Nordic countries, Benelux, Central and Eastern Europe. Dutch and Polish subsidiaries were transferred to CGEA Transport AB and later that same year the take over of the Stockholm subway was accomplished and activities in Norway, the Czech Republic and Poland moved forward. In the spring of 2000, CGEA’s transport division decided to take on the more international name of Connex, a name under which the activities in England and the Stockholm subway already operated.
That same year, 2000, the Connex group took over Via GTI Group’s activities with developments in France, Germany and Spain. CGEA Transport AB became Connex Transport AB in 2000.
In 2001, Estonia and the Netherlands also became part of the company and developments in Denmark, Norway, Poland and the Czech Republic continued.
In 2002, Slovenia was added to the list of countries that Connex Transport AB operates in and the company continued to grow in the Czeck Republic and Finland.
In 2003, Connex Transport AB became responsible also for the German market. That same year, Connex took over operations of the long-distance rail between Gothenburg and Stockholm in Sweden and Narvik in northern Norway. The company's expansion continued with more operations in Norway, Germany, Poland, the Netherlands and the Czech Republic.
Connex Transport AB operates since June 2004, the new tramway in Dublin, Ireland.
During the last few years, Connex has added passenger transportation at sea to its modes of transportation. Today, the company operates ferries in the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden.
In 2005, Connex entered the public transportation market in Switzerland with the acquisition of bus company Dupraz Bus.
Between 1998 and 2004 Connex Transport AB’s volume of activity developed from 270 to 1,555 million euro.
Due to the growth of the company and to ensure closeness to the operations, Connex Transport AB was on July 1, 2005, divided into two companies: Connex Central Europe with its head office in Berlin, Germany and Connex Northern Europe with its head office in Stockholm, Sweden.
In June 2005, Connex Transport Central Europe added a new market to its scope of activities when taking over bus company SAD Nitra in the city of Nitra in Slovakia. The expansion continued with Connex Transport Northern Europe re-entering the UK with the purchase of bus company Bebb Travel PLc. in Wales.
Veolia Transport is born
In 2005, Veolia Environnement decided to bring all its divisions together under the same name, Veolia. The new division names within Veolia Environnement are: Veolia Water, Veolia Energy (Dalkia), Veolia Enviroenmental Services (Onyx) and Veolia Transport (Connex).
This lead Connex Northern Europe AB to change its name to Veolia Transport Northern Europe AB on Febraury 17th, 2006.
Connex Central Europe GmbH changed its name to Veolia Transport Central Europe GmbH as of May 17, 2006. New in 2006, is that the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has acquired a 35 percent equity stake in Veolia Transport Central Europe GmbH. This new partneship will strengthen Veolia Transport develonment possibilities in Central and Eastern Europe.
In 2006, the latest developments include the acuisition of a bus company in Serbia, Veolia Transport's first step into this country, and the acquisition of two new bus activites in the UK: Pullman Coaches Limited in Swansea, Wales and Dunn-Line PLC in the East Midlands.
Last updated: 20/06/2007