Founder of the Denjean group, the ariégeois Gérard Denjean died on July 21 in Toulouse, aged 77

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Originally from Mazères, in Ariège, Gérard Denjean created his small transport company in 1966, which today has grown into a group of 630 employees with multiple activities. He died on Friday 21 July in Toulouse at the age of 77.

“Success is possible in Ariège, there are men and women out of the ordinary and Gérard Denjean was one of them. He was both a builder and a visionary. Two weeks ago, he was still thinking about expanding the company, there was always something going on.

His voice breaking with emotion, Paul-Louis Maurat tries to evoke the memory of Gérard Denjean, whose death announcement, on July 21st in Toulouse, exploded like thunder in the sky over Ariège on Monday July 24th. At the age of 77, a heart attack was just right for one of the most emblematic entrepreneurs in the area, who started almost from nothing in 1966 in Saint-Paul-de-Jarrat, before creating a multi-activity group employing more than 600 people.

“An honest man, a man of his word”

President of the Ariège Chamber of Commerce and Industry for 35 years, Paul-Louis Maurat knew him well. And with good reason: «We had known each other for more than 40 years, he recalls, we started together. We were 20-year-old young entrepreneurs, he in transport, I in the food sector.
“A character”, sums up Benoît Leclerc, general manager of the Denjean Logistique platform in Mazères. “He is someone who has dedicated his whole life to his feat of him, he liked to tell it and he told it very well”.

57 years of history

The story that Gérard Denjean so loved to tell begins one fine day in 1966, when the young man bought a second-hand truck on credit to start a small transport business with his father. Taking advantage of the boom in motorway works, he soon extended his activity to public works.

The “success story” has just begun: refrigerated transport, logistics, concrete and aggregates, quarries in the Saverdun plain, gas and sustainable energy, asphalt, Gérard Denjean touches everything without ever leaving his two main activities, transport and public works. The group moves to Toulouse, branches out in Montauban, expands into the Tarn, returns to its lands in Ariège where it creates a 22,000m2 logistics platform in Mazères, to which is added another 10,000m2 in Toulouse, then 50,000m2, up to a network of ten warehouses for a total of 224,000m2.

Gérard Denjean, in dates and figures

1966 : Gérard Denjean buys a second-hand truck and sets up his transport business in Saint-Paul-de-Jarrat, not far from

1983 : creation of the refrigerated transport company Denjean Transports

2001 : development of the logistics branch of the company

2004 : new business in aggregates and concrete

2012 : launch of the gas branch with Pyrénées Energies Durables

2014 : development of the business in bituminous conglomerates

2021 : new orientation towards the construction sector

Sales in 2023: 87 million euros
Number of employees : 630
6 management centers and 10 warehouses for a total of 224,000 m2

Tireless, Gérard Denjean was always in the office, preparing his son Thibaud for three years to take over. “They were both at the helm, but he gradually gave them over, confides Paul-Louis Maurat. The question of the company’s continuity will not arise.”

“For me he will always be ‘Monsieur Denjean’, concludes Benoît Leclerc. And with him the ‘monsieur’ is not abused”.

Gérard Denjean’s funeral will be celebrated on Wednesday 26 July in Foix.

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