Marazzi IPO to Raise Some $455 million

Modena, Italy, January 30, 2006--Marazzi Gruppo Ceramiche SpA, Europe's largest maker of ceramic tiles, plans to raise as much as 375 million euros ($455 million) in initial public offering next month to fund expansion in the U.S. and China. Marazzi plans to sell as many as 28.9 million new and existing shares at 10.25 euros to 13 euros apiece, the company said in an advertisement in Italian newspapers today. The IPO values Marazzi at as much as 1.3 billion euros. Marazzi, whose tiles pave one of the European Parliament's restaurants in Brussels, wants to expand outside Italy by making acquisitions. The company has been benefiting from a boom in residential construction in countries such as Spain and the U.S. The Marazzi family, which founded the tile maker in 1935, will own 60 percent after the IPO, down from 65 percent. Riaz Sarl, controlled by buyout company Permira Advisers Ltd., and Italian investment firm Private Equity Partners SpA, will hold 7.7 percent of Marazzi after the IPO, down from 33 percent. About 27 percent of Marazzi's sales are in Italy. Last year, Marazzi bought Russia's Welor Kerama Group for $103 million, which helped increase revenue in the first nine months of 2005 by 18 percent to 677 million euros. Profit was 43.1 million euros. Mediobanca SpA and Morgan Stanley are managing the IPO. Shares are on sale to money managers from Feb. 6 through Feb. 10.

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