From roads… to all forms of transportation infrastructure
1929: Colas is born
Société Routière Colas was founded in France in 1929 by Shell and Société Générale d'Entreprises (SGE) to operate the "Cold Asphalt" bitumen emulsion patent. The company originally specialized in the production of bitumen emulsion in addition to road works.
In the 1930s, it established operations in northern and western Africa and the French Caribbean.
1950s-1970s: international expansion in Africa, Canada and the United States and expansion of the roads business to include road safety equipment
In 1959, Colas expanded its road business to include road safety and signaling by acquiring Somaro, currently Aximum. By the early 1960s, Colas had an extensive network of sites in western Africa and had established a presence in Canada by acquiring a Quebec-based company in 1962 that eventually became Sintra, and subsequently in the United States by acquiring assets in 1979 that led to the creation of the Group's first US subsidiary, Barrett Paving Materials.
In 1970, Colas cofounded Cofiroute, which operates a highway concession in north-western France.