The experience of a family group

Manufacture of Ironmongery and hot-dip galvanizing products located at 4 Quai de Tourville in Nantes. The company becomes a supplier of the national navy and large administrations. It also processes watering cans, buckets, basins, washing machines and vacuum cleaners for galvanized fireplaces.

The Group’s first factory exclusively dedicated to hot-dip galvanizing, right in the heart of the creative district, 32 Rue de la Noue de Bras de Fer in Nantes. The remains of this plant are still visible today, in particular thanks to a 33m high rehabilitated chimney. The activity was renamed Société Nantaise de Galvanisation in 1954 and relocated to CARQUEFOU Industrial Zone in 1975. Following this, the company was sold to English galvanizers.

Charles LOUIS left the SNCF to undertake the transformation of the GREFFIER & LOUIS manufacturing division, specialising in high-precision sheet metal. The establishment was located at no. 4 and 5 Quai de Tourville in Nantes, and specialised in the manufacture and trade of all black and galvanised steel sheet metal. Gradually, the company began specialising in custom orders. For instance, it manufactured the very first French high-speed train’s dashboard, as well as the subway doors in New-York. From 1995, the town hall in Nantes had its eye on the manufacturing site to expand its University Hospital, and requisitioned the Tôlerie de la Loire factory in 2002.

The Saint Nazaire galvanising unit was created in 1959 by Edmond and Charles LOUIS, having bought part of the reparcelling rights following war damage. The company was located Rue du Parc à l’Eau. The purpose of this new unit was to offer an alternative to the galvanising division which used to be appended to the Chantiers de l’Atlantique shipyard. A few years later, the galvanisation division within the Chantiers de l’Atlantique closed down, and Saint Nazaire’s galvanisation division was sent all the volumes previously held by the Chantiers de l’Atlantique.

The company was sold to foreign investors in 1978 and shut down a few years later. The galvanisation unit has now been replaced by Saint Nazaire’s cinema complex.

The galvanisation factory was created by Edmond and Charles LOUIS, and their activity was launched somewhat chaotically in 1968. The goal was to offer a galvanisation unit adapted to large lengths. The land was cordoned off and an SNCF line was organised so goods could be brought in by rail. Over the years, the company grew, adapted itself, became more structured, and is still located near its original spot in LA ROCHELLE, in the Chef de Baie Industrial Zone. To this day, GALVA ATLANTIQUE is still up and running – with Charles and Edmond’s descendants, René and Patricia LOUIS, at its helm.

Edmond and Charles LOUIS once again joined forces and gave birth to GALVAMETAL, whose activity was launched in 1972 on a plot of land with SNCF rail access, offered up by higher management at the town hall of Angers.

As the Group’s second unit specialised in processing metal frameworks, the company still lives on with Charles and Edmond’s descendants, René and Patricia LOUIS, governing it. The company is still located on its original site in the Industrial Zone of ECOUFLANT, on a 40,000 m² plot of land, 10,000m² of which are covered.

The company launched its galvanisation activity in 1972, and the site was integrated to the GALVELPORC company – which at the time used to craft and galvanise pig breeding equipment.

The galvanisation activity was bought over in 1989 by René and Patricia LOUIS, with a view to developing it and providing a local solution to the many customers in the North of the Mayenne area. Since then, the unit has been restructured but is still located on its original site in Villaines la Juhel.

In 1990, several industrial companies grouped together to create a hot-dip galvanisation activity in the North-West of the Vienne department. Two years later, this activity was bought over by René and Patricia LOUIS, with a view to expanding their activity geographically to the Centre Val de Loire and Poitou-Charentes regions. In 2000, the company began major renovation work and launched the construction of a second hot-dip galvanisation unit. Unit 2 was built on the same piece of land as Unit 1, to absorb ever-increasing volumes from neighbouring departments.

The RTN family-run activity, specialised in the manufacture of trailer axle trees and managed by Mr Alain Thibault, decided to build its own hot-dip galvanisation unit in 2002 – right near the manufacturing unit.

In 2005, the suffering galvanisation activity was bought over by René and Patricia LOUIS, and ended up offering specialised services in the processing of small and medium-sized parts.