Ernesto Romeu Giralt | Fundador Grupo Romeu

Ernesto Romeu Giralt

Founder and sole member of the first generation

The history of the Romeu Group

The Romeu Group’s roots go back to 1869 in Tarragona, Spain, specifically to a company called Viuda y Sobrinos de P. Ferrer Mary. It was owned by Matilde Ferrer and her nephew Juan Escandell, whose brother-in-law Ernesto Romeu Giralt joined the company soon after. The latter took over the management of the company in 1893.

During the following two decades he was very succesful in the shipping agency business representing steam vessels calling Tarragona on their routes to or from the Netherlands, England, Sweden and France. He algo developed a substantial business with vessels transporting salt from the Balearic islands to Tarragona.

Ernesto Romeu Giralt, considered the founder and only first generation member of the Romeu Group, passed away in 1917. His wife, who had inherited his shares, also died soon after so their elder son, Manuel Romeu Escandell, took over the business changing its name in 1939 to Romeu & Compañía.

Manuel and his brother Ernesto, both our second generation, laid the foundations of what later became the Romeu Group. During the 50’s Romeu & cia expanded first to Valencia and then Barcelona, offices that were managed by third generation members.

The Romeu Group became world-class under the guidance of its third generation. Juan and Ernesto Romeu Sanromá first and the three Romeu Loperena brothers -Ernesto, Jose María and Quico- next led the group to open new activities. Through their vision and hard work the group entered the customs brokerage, freight forwarding, tugboats and stevedoring sectors.

The 80’s brought a quick expansion of the Romeu Group throughout Spain to cover most of the important ports and cities: Barcelona, Tarragona, Valencia, Alicante, Madrid, Cartagena, Sevilla, Algeciras, Cádiz, Vigo, Bilbao, Las Palmas and Tenerife.

The next decade was devoted to international expansion. Portugal came first, soon followed by Tunisia and Algeria. Next the Group open in Mexico and Hong Kong. This international growth accelerated with the turn of the century, thanks to the leadership of the group’s fourth generation (Luis Romeu, Ernesto Romeu and Javier Romeu) and fifth generation (Miriam Fábregas). Different companies of the Romeu Group grew geographically then, now being present in 23 countries on four continents.

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