Wanty, a family story
In 1946, on his return from Germany where he had spent five years as a prisoner during the Second World War, Maurice Wanty, an architect by training, set up a company specialising in construction and small-scale civil engineering projects, to build private houses and reinforced concrete structures in the various coal fields of the Centre region. In 1954, the firm moved to Epinois, in the province of Binche and began the manufacture of concrete blocks and slabs. After the closure of the first coal mines and encouraged by his eldest son André, Maurice Wanty invested in his first hydraulic excavator and began digging foundations for private houses. This venture was highly successful and quickly led to the firm’s involvement in road construction.
The arrival of Maurice’s second son Michel Wanty, a civil engineer, to join the company in 1971, signalled the start of significant expansion in both the public and private sectors and diversification into refurbishment, asphalt laying, demolition, the reinstatement of industrial wasteland and the laying of water pipes. In 1980, Wanty built its first asphalt plant and founded the company « Tarmacs et Agrégats » for the manufacture of asphalt and concrete and the recycling of inert materials. In 1990, it took over the company Debliquit, a subcontractor operating tipper trucks.
In 1998, the third generation of the Wanty family joined what has now become a major industrial group. Christophe Wanty, a business and management graduate, joind his father Michel, as did Benoît Soenen, an agricultural engineer specialising in environmental science. The company then entered a new era, embarking at the start of the millennium on a policy of further diversification into the maintenance of civil engineering machinery, the provision of services to the steel sector, road marking, quarry operation, waste recycling and drain laying. It also exported its expertise abroad, with the foundation of a French subsidiary operating in the decommissioning sector.
An industrial strategy focussed entirely on customer satisfaction and work of the highest quality completed on schedule: this is the philosophy of the Wanty Group, which now provides expert services in all sectors directly or indirectly associated with road construction. These services are provided by a range of companies which are all able to act as a unit to achieve this specific aim. Just like the members of a family, since, despite its 600 strong workforce, the Wanty Group has remained a family company, retaining the personal touch, and has instilled this spirit into its employees.
A company and a family firmly rooted in the region, for although the company – being somewhat cramped in its original quarters – has left Epinois, it has moved to brand new premises only a few kilometres away in Péronnes-lez-Binche; premises suited to accommodate a growing business and, who knows, perhaps one day a fourth generation of local entrepreneurs.