Marazzi Group: History

From a “cardboard factory” to a multinational company with manufacturing plants in Italy, Spain, France, Russia and the United States.
Marazzi Ceramiche was established in 1935 in Sassuolo, in the province of Modena, in an area that had been producing terracotta products on a craft basis since the 17th century. It is told that the founder, Filippo Marazzi, built the first manufacturing plant using two parallel rows of poplar trees as the main support structure, laying down the groundwork for the legend of the “cardboard factory", so-called due to the provisional nature of the structure. Actually, he was creating a company that, thanks to the use of the state-of-the-art technology, would transform craft-based processing of raw clay into a modern industrial operation, making a significant contribution to the development of what was destined to become the most important ceramic tile manufacturing center in the world.

The late 40’s and 50’s. During the post-war reconstruction period, thanks to the expansion of the manufacturing facility, Ceramica Marazzi is able to meet the demands of a rapidly growing market.
The 50’s and 60’s. Under the guidance of Pietro Marazzi, Filippo’s son, they undertake the first expansion and introduce mechanized processes, while exploring aesthetic solutions that are cutting-edge for the period.
The 70’s. A radical technological overhaul. Marazzi patents the singlefiring process, (quick firing of body and glaze), which becomes the most widespread manufacturing process in the world. The Marazzi tiles bear the names of important international designers and architects.
The 80’s. Under the guidance of Filippo, representing the third generation, they initiate a process of international development, product diversification and vertical integration. Outside of Italy they establish Marazzi Iberia in Castellón de la Plana, Spain and American Marazzi Tile in Dallas, Texas. In 1989 they buy Ceramiche Ragno SpA, the then number-two Italian player in the sector. They introduce the innovative Firestream manufacturing process.
The 90’s. This decade is characterized by a strategy aimed at shoring up the firm’s leadership position in Italy while continuing to expand internationally: Penarroya in Spain, Hatria Sanitari in Italy, France Ceram and France Alfa in France and Monarch Tile in the US.
The 21st century. The firm begins expanding Eastward with the acquisition of clay quarries in Ukraine and the construction of a manufacturing plant in Moscow. In 2004 they found a trading company in China. By way of supporting the development plans, the Marazzi family is flanked by new financial partners, the Permira Funds and Private Equity Partners. In 2005 they purchase Welor Kerama, the leader in the Russian market with over 100 retail outlets of its own in the country and production gets underway in the new Malino plant (Moscow).
2000. The firm begins expanding Eastward with the acquisition of clay quarries in Ukraine and the construction of a manufacturing plant in Moscow.
2005. With the acquisition of the Russian Welor-Kerama Group, Marazzi becomes the leader in the Russian market with a network of company-owned sales outlets. The China Business Unit is set up, Marazzi and Ragno direct sales outlets are opened and production capacity of the Dallas (USA) manufacturing facility is doubled.
2010. Marazzi patents its crystallised porcelain stoneware and the investiment cycle in Italy is completed with the installation of cutting-edge technology for ceramic tile production.