|Traded as||Euronext: PAOR|
|Total assets||€ 7,718 million
(31 March 2010)
(31 March 2010)
Paris Orléans SCA is a financial holding company listed on Euronext Paris and controlled by the French and English branch of the Rothschild family. Paris Orléans is the flagship of the Rothschild banking Group and controls the Rothschild Group’s banking activities including N M Rothschild & Sons and Rothschild & Cie Banque.
The banking business of Rothschild banking Group covers the areas of investment banking, corporate banking, private equity, asset management, private banking, and so on. In addition, Paris Orléans has its own investment account in private equity.
It was originally a French railway company, the Compagnie du chemin de fer de Paris à Orléans.
Beginning as railway company
The Compagnie du chemin de fer de Paris à Orléans was founded in 1838 as a railway company; after several takeovers and a merger with the Chemins de fer du Midi it had about 11,000 km (6,800 mi) of track, and was one of the major railway companies in France. In 1938 it was nationalised along with five other railway undertakings to form the national state railway company SNCF. After the nationalization of rail operations, the company became a simple property company.
As French banking branch of Rothschild family
After the Second World War, French branch of the Rothschild family took over the remains of Paris Orléans and transformed it into a holding company for its banking activities and corporate investments. These mainly included the "Banque Rothschild" (Bank), "SGIM" (property company), the "SIACI" (insurance), the "Francarep" (oil company) and the "SGDBR" (wineries), now Domaines Barons de Rothschild (DBR).
By 1980, the Paris business employed about 2,000 people and had an annual turnover of 26 billion francs ($5 billion in the currency rates of 1980).
But then the Paris business suffered a near death blow in 1981 when the Socialist government of François Mitterrand nationalized Banque Rothschild and renamed it Compagnie Européenne de Banque.
In 1984, they founded Paris Orléans Banque, which later became Rothschild & Cie Banque. Capitalized at only $1 million and starting with just three employees, they made their tiny investment bank into a major competitor in France and continental Europe. Today, Rothschild & Cie Banque is the French branch of the Rothschild group.
As the flagship of Rothschild Group
In 2003, English and French firms merged into the Rothschild Group under the leadership of David R. de Rothschild. To do this, a holding company, Concordia BV, was created to own the Rothschild Group’s banking activities. Now Paris Orléans holds 100% of Concordia BV.
Paris Orléans today
For the merger of the banking activities of the English and French branch of the Rothschild family in January 2008, the company "Paris Orléans SCA" became the flagship of the family business of Rothschild. The share capital of Paris Orléans is controlled to 58.64% by the Rothschild family(March 2010). The remaining shares are widely spread on the exchange.
Paris Orléans SCA controls "Concordia BV". "Concordia BV" in turn controls "Rothschilds Continuation Holdings AG". "Rothschilds Continuation Holdings AG" in turn controls the Rothschild Group’s banking activities.
The most important holdings of Rothschilds Continuation Holdings AG are:
- NM Rothschild & Sons Ltd, London - English division of Rothschild Group
- Rothschild & Cie Banque, Paris - French division of Rothschild Group
- Rothschild Bank AG, Zurich - International private banking group serving a varied international client base
Rothschild Group has a total of 57 offices in 45 countries on five continents and employs 2860 employees worldwide (in March 2010). In the area of investment banking, Rothschild Group has specialized in the M & A advisory. Today, Rothschild Group is the most active M&A house in Europe.
Private equity business
In addition to banking activities, Paris Orléans holds in the area of private equity investments on their own account with a total value of € 471 million (in March 2010). This portfolio includes investments in private equity funds and mezzanine financing, including investments in listed and unlisted companies.
Historically, the Rothschild family owns many Bordeaux vineyards since 1868. Les Domaines Barons de Rothschild (Lafite) is one of Rothschild's winery company. Majority of the share is owned by the Rothschild family and 23.5% is owned by Paris Orléans.
- RPT-French banker Guy de Rothschild dies aged 98 Reuters, Thu 14 June 2007 12:26 pm EDT
- Baron Guy de Rothschild, Leader of French Arm of Bank Dynasty, Dies at 98 The New York Times, Thu 14 June 2007
- "Banking activities organisation chart of Rothschild". Paris-orleans.com.
- "Paris Orléans Annual report 2007/2008". Paris-orleans.com. Retrieved 31 July 2008.
- "Paris Orléans Annual report 2009/2010". Paris-orleans.com. Retrieved 30 July 2010.