Veolia is one of the world’s big utility companies, with a noticeable presence in France, where it was founded, as Compagnie Generale des Eaux in 1853. Veolia has followed a policy of interacting with towns and councils to provide many kinds of public services including managing, on their behalves, ports de plaisance on the rivers and canals of France through a subsidiary company Compagnie des Exploitation des Ports.

CEP employs 100 people and manages six inland ports – Moissac, Castelmoron-sur-Lot, Capestang, Poilhes, Montauban, Port Lauragais; two coastal marinas – Redon and Deauville; plus the fishing port of Lorient.

Recently (December 2012) Veolia has decided to sell off CEP. The current CEO, Olivier Breuilly, will continue to run the new company, called CEPP. Reportedly, neither CEP nor CEPP seem currently to have sorted out replacement contractual arrangements with port managers and berth-holders.