In the late 1960s, three large industrial empires agree to merge their companies: the Société de Construction des Batignolles, SPIE and Schneider. They create a new concept of a business integrated around construction, electrical engineering and electromechanics; however, a series of crises will weaken that model in the closing decades of the 20th century.
SPIE, a company with an international and multidisciplinary vocation, decides to merge with the Société de Construction des Batignolles under the name SPIE Batignolles. The major shareholder is the Empain Group, which would later acquire control of Schneider and change its name to Empain-Schneider in 1969.
CITRA (Compagnie Industrielle de Travaux), a construction company created by Schneider, is absorbed by SPIE Batignolles. It brings its knowledge and expertise related to large export contracts and civil engineering infrastructures such as dams, tunnels and bridges to a group with over 16,000 employees at that time..
The year sets the beginning of the Empain-Schneider Group’s industrial and financial restructuring, following its takeover by the Paribas Group and the departure of the Empain family. Under the management of Didier Pineau-Valencienne, the Group changes its name to Schneider and refocuses on the electrical industry, with SPIE Batignolles remaining one of its subsidiaries.
Trindel, a company specialising in electrical installations, joins SPIE Batignolles, which creates the Electricity and Nuclear Division (Division Electricité et Nucléaire – DEN). Buoyed by the French nuclear programme, the construction of the TGV lines and the Channel Tunnel, the company expands both in transport infrastructure and in specialised activities (nuclear, very high voltage lines, pipelines, special foundations and subterranean works).
Weakened by international difficulties and risky real estate transactions, SPIE Batignolles is finally reacquired by Schneider in 1997 through an employee buyout (EBO). For this EBO, the SPIE Batignolles employees, who become the majority shareholder, partnered with the British Group AMEC. This is the largest EBO ever performed in France in terms of the number of participants.
A History of SPIE, born and reborn – an interactive book
Relive the history of SPIE in augmented reality. The 350 page e-book ‘A history of SPIE, born and reborn’ takes you on an interactive tour of the Group’s history, with 3D animation, maps, video and audio clips, exclusive documents from the archive, and more.