The publicly traded Italian company Panariagroup Industrie Ceramiche S.P.A. has acquired the assets of Florida Tile Industries, one of the top producers, marketers, and distributors of tile and accessories in the U.S. Panariagroup noted that it plans to upgrade Florida Tile's manufacturing facility in Lakeland, Fla. and said it does not anticipate any changes in staffing. Included in the purchase are manufacturing plants in Shannon, Ga., and Lawrenceburg, Ky., as well as Florida Tile's national distribution center in Lawrenceburg and 25 company-owned branches across the United States. Terms were not disclosed.

"This deal is good news for Florida Tile, for our employees as well as our customers," said Buck Burwell, CEO of Florida Tile. "We will have more to offer as part of Panariagroup."

Panariagroup said that the deal comes at a good time for the company. "With this transaction we concluded a very important investment," noted Guiliano Mussini, Panariagroup's chairman. "Not only in manufacturing but also in logistics and distribution, that otherwise would have required more financial effort and a longer time to be realized."

Added Burwell, "Panariagroup sees a great opportunity to distribute their products with our distribution network, and we can leverage their brand with our distribution ability."