Equity Firms Buy 33% Stake in Marazzi Group

Milan, Italy, November 17 -- Permira Europe II and Private Equity Partners Funds have acquired 33% ownership of Marazzi Group, the world's largest manufacturer of ceramic tiles. Permira Europe II will own 28% of the company and Private Equity Partners will own 5% of the company. Marazzi Group anticipates listing on the Italian Stock Exchange within 3 to 5 years. The deal is intended to further Marazzi's plan for expansion in the international market, especially in the US, China, Russia and the Far East. Major investments in production capacity are planned Russia and the US. The company recently increased investments to raise production capacity at its Florence, Alabama plant from 8 million square meters to 18 million square meters. A new plant in Malino, Russia is expected to open in 2005. Marazzi recently launched a new company, Marazzi China, based in the Foshang district, to extend its business in that country.

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