In 1858 a French engineer Ferdinand de Lesseps founded the company Compagnie Universelle du Canal maritime de SUEZ, which built and operated Suez Canal for the following nearly 100 years.
In 1956 the Canal was nationalized and the company became the financial group Compagnie financiere de SUEZ. It changed its objectives and focused the activities on the financial, particularly bank and investment domains.
Over the years the company consolidated its position and became a very stable and powerful company, especially in financial services and industry.
Lyonnaise des Eaux (1880)
Lyonnaise des Eaux originated in France in 1880 as Lyonnaise des Eaux et de l'Eclairage – The company for water supply and urban lighting.
It gained its very first contract on the Azure Coast in the town of Cannes. Until 1914 it gradually extended its activities and focused on production and distribution of water, power and gas.
Between the World Wars it started business expansion into North and Central Africa and the Pacific.
After nationalizing electricity industry in France in 1945 the company concentrated its activities on environmental services – water management, waste management and later urban heating.
In 1980s a successful development of Lyonnaise des Eaux started in the water management sector at the international markets - Great Britain, Spain, the USA, Macao, etc.
In the early 1990s Lyonnaise des Eaux merged with an important group Dumez and enriched the range of its services on construction activities.
Those days it also started operating in Central and Eastern Europe – the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, etc.
Lyonnaise des Eaux became the leader at the world water market and a partner to important cities all over the world, including such cities as Buenos Aires, Paris, Sydney, Rostock, Brno, later on Budapest, Manila, Casablanca, Jakarta, Santiago de Chile, Barcelona, etc.
SUEZ Lyonnaise des Eaux (1997)
The fusion of Lyonnaise des Eaux and SUEZ in 1997, that changed the group name to SUEZ Lyonnaise des Eaux, was a logical output of existing cooperation between both these groups for more than 30 years and convergence of their strategies.
The power of the financial group SUEZ and the experience of the world leader in the infrastructural services Lyonnaise des Eaux were a precondition for further development of this multinational company.
In 2001 the group SUEZ Lyonnaise des Eaux changed its name to SUEZ and the group water division to ONDEO.
SUEZ environnement (2002)
In the middle of 2002 the water management activities and waste management activities were combined and SUEZ Environnement was created.
GDF SUEZ (2008)
In the European, but also global proportions a giant project whose execution took more than 2.5 years since the publication of the initial plan (turn 2005/2006), was completed during the summer 2008, when on 22 July 2008 the two companies actually merged. The merger was so that the company Gaz de France "swallowed" SUEZ and SUEZ shares were exchanged for shares of Gaz de France in the ratio of 22:21. The new business entity was named GDF SUEZ.
This way two companies operating in the energy sector (production and the production of electricity and the gas sector) merged: SUEZ company with more than 150 years of tradition and Gaz de France company existing since 1946. So the largest energy group in Europe was created.
SUEZ environnement (2013)
Simultaneously with the merger, the environmental activities were allocated (water and waste management) to a newly created company SUEZ Environnement. This company became independent, while GDF SUEZ together with other investors retained a decisive part in the shareholding of the company.