Panariagroup acquires Gresart

The Italian ceramic group is expanding its presence in Portugal, a market where Gres Panaria Portugal has been operating for years with two production sites in Aveiro and Ilhavo.

On 6 April, Panariagroup, one of the world’s largest manufacturers of high-end ceramic floor and wall tiles, announced the complete acquisition of the Portuguese company Gresart, founded in 1981 in Oliveira do Barro in the industrial district of Aveiro. The acquisition follows on from the Italian group’s longstanding presence in the region through its Gres Panaria Portugal business unit, which operates the two production sites of Margres and Love Tiles.

The operation further expands Panariagroup’s production capacity and commercial and distribution presence in Portugal and strengthens Gres Panaria Portugal’s position as the leading ceramic tile producer in the Portuguese market.

With this latest acquisition, the third after Maronagres (now Margres) in 2002 and Novagres (now Love Tiles) in 2005, Gres Panaria Portugal reaches consolidated annual revenues of €110 million and a total ceramic tile production capacity of approximately 10 million sqm, while expanding its geographical presence and entering further market segments that are key to the Group’s competitive growth.

“Portugal has a long ceramic tradition that is unique anywhere in Europe in terms of its history and culture,” said Gres Panaria Portugal’s Chairman Marco Mussini, who led the operation. “I’m very proud of this important step forward, which enables us to further expand and integrate our value proposition as a ceramic market leader in Portugal. We have been operating in the Aveiro district for more than 20 years and I believe that Gresart will bring significant added value to our group. With this operation we are aiming not only to strengthen our commercial presence in the area, but also to develop new capabilities and industrial expertise in order to continue innovating our high-quality ceramic surfaces.”

From an industrial perspective, the acquisition of Gresart will allow the Group to immediately increase its production capacity of both porcelain and monoporosa tiles, the latter being a product segment where Portuguese brands – and Love Tiles in particular – have gained a high level of expertise and recognition. The Gresart plant has specific lines for the production of large-size surfaces equipped with dedicated kilns and presses and a state-of-the-art grinding line. With its covered factory area of 60,000 sqm on a total site of 200,000 sqm, the acquisition of Gresart will enable the group to immediately expand its existing production capacity and provide a more effective response to the growing needs of the market.

At a commercial level, the integration of the Gresart brand expands the wealth and variety of the Group’s portfolio, adding a new range of products that stand apart from the existing Magres and Love Tiles premium lines. It also enables the group to expand its distribution channels to serve large European retailers, a segment in which Gresart has longstanding experience.

“Panariagroup is an international Group in which the Portuguese Business Unit enjoys particularly positive growth prospects due to increasing market demand and high competitiveness in terms of productivity,” noted chairman Emilio Mussini. “Independently of the group’s composition, export sales account for 80% of our revenue, and having an extensive presence has proven to be a successful strategy for dealing with the market crisis that has gripped Europe in recent years. With the acquisition of Gresart, Panariagroup reaffirms its intention to invest significantly in growing its coverage and presence in Portugal in the future.”

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