UPDATE 1-Mohawk Industries to buy Italy's Marazzi Group for $1.5 bln

Thu Dec 20, 2012 5:01pm EST

Dec 20 (Reuters) - Mohawk Industries Inc, a U.S. ceramic tile maker, will buy Italian ceramics manufacturer Marazzi Group for about $1.5 billion to boost its position in the United States, Russia and Europe.

The worldwide consumption of ceramic tiles is estimated to be more than 110 billion square feet, growing at 5 percent to 6 percent annually, Mohawk said.

The Marazzi Group, which distributes ceramic tile in more than 100 countries, had revenue of about $1.16 billion in 2011, Mohawk said in a statement on Thursday.

Italy's Marazzi family owns 51 percent of the group, while the rest is held by private equity funds Permira and Private Equity Partners.

Mohawk said the acquisition is expected to add to its earnings in 2013.

Mohawk's international presence includes operations in Australia, Brazil, China, Europe, Malaysia, Mexico and Russia.

Barclays advised Mohawk on the deal, which is expected to close during the first quarter of next year.

Reuters reported about a possible deal between Mohawk and Marazzi Group on Nov. 23.