Calhoun-based flooring giant Mohawk Industries Inc. has agreed to purchase Marazzi Group, an Italian tile manufacturer, for 1.17 billion euros, about $1.5 billion.

The acquisition will make Mohawk the world leader in ceramic tile and is to provide inroads into markets where Marazzi is strong, such as Russia, Italy, France and Spain

The deal is expected to close in the first quarter of 2013, according to a Mohawk news release. Ceramic tile is the world’s most widely used flooring medium and is expected to grow more than 5 percent annually in the coming years, the company said. 

In July 2010, Mohawk announced a joint venture with a Chinese tile manufacturer to expand its presence in that market. 

In its third quarter 2012 earnings report, the company said its tile manufacturing plant is ramping up in SalamancaMexico. Globally, Mohawk’s Dal-Tile business unit posted sales growth of 9 percent compared to the same quarter in 2011. 

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As managing editor of Global Atlanta, Trevor has spent 15+ years reporting on Atlanta’s ties with the world. An avid traveler, he has undertaken trips to 30+ countries to uncover stories on the perils...