The Compagnie du chemin de fer de Paris à Orléans was founded in 1838 as a railway company. In 1938, it was nationalised along with five other railway undertakings to form the national state railway company SNCF. After the nationalisation of rail operations, the company became a simple property company. 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. In 1981, the Socialist government of François Mitterrand nationalised Banque Rothschild and renamed it Compagnie Européenne de Banque. In 1983, David de Rothschild and Eric de Rothschild decided to restart their family's business, using Paris Orléans as a launchpad for building a new Rothschild bank in France, creating P.O. Gestion as a banking operation. At this time, the company held majority stakes in Paris Orléans Gestion, now Rothschild & Cie Banque, in the public property management company SGIM (Société de Gérance d'Immeubles Municipaux) , and smaller investments in the insurance broker SIACI, in the wine business with SGDBR, now Domaines Barons de Rothschild (DBR) and in Francarep, which was initially an oil exploration company.
Paris Orléans took on its profile gradually. Francarep slowly started to shed its oil and gas operations in favour of a private equity activity. Paris Orléans bolstered its presence in the capital of Francarep by contributing its holdings in SGIM, then SIACI and, finally, DBR. In October 1986, the Rothschild family were granted the right to use family name again, and P.O. Gestion became Rothschild & Associés Banque. Paris Orléans took a minority stake in Rothschild Concordia AG (a banking group operating in the UK and the rest of the world). This stake was increased in 2000 and then 2001.
In July 2003, The French business, Rothschild & Cie Banque and the UK business, N M Rothschild & Sons Limited were brought together, the realisation of a long held plan. A new lead entity was created, Concordia BV, owned 50%-50% by N M Rothschild & Sons Limited (the UK business) and Paris Orléans (the French business). At the same time, in 2003, David de Rothschild succeeded Sir Evelyn de Rothschild as Chairman of N M Rothschild & Sons Limited, becoming Rothschild Group Chairman. In October 2004, Paris Orléans streamlined its French structure even further, absorbing its private equity subsidiary, Francarep.
In 2008, the Rothschild family banking group further reorganised its shareholdings by unifying their capital under a single company regsitered in France, a shareholder of Paris Orléans, completing the unification of the family business nearly two centuries after the Rothschild brothers left Frankfurt to establish their own family firms. In April 2012, The Group announced a further reorganisation, becoming a partnership limited by shares, an important step in its continued international development and structural streamlining.
In 2015, Paris Orléans, was renamed Rothschild & Co. Rothschild & Co holds 100% of Concordia BV.
Paris Orléans, annual reports, 2011-2012
Annual reports of Paris Orléans.