“Market Cap $12.49 B As of May 2014
At a Glance
- Industry: Construction Materials
- Founded: 1874
- Country: Switzerland
- CEO: Albert Baehny
- Website: www.geberit.com
- Employees: 6,226
- Sales: $2.16 B
- Headquarters: Rapperswil-Jona
#1503 Global 2000
- #1218 in Profit
- #892 in Market value
Geberit AG supplies sanitary plumbing systems. It develops, produces and distributes sanitary products and systems for the residential and industrial construction industry. Geberit products include sanitary and piping systems. Sanitary system products include installation systems, cisterns and mechanisms, faucets and flushing systems, waste fittings and traps, and shower toilets. Piping system includes building drainage and supply systems. The company was founded by Gebert Caspar Melchior Labert in 1874 and is headquartered in Rapperswil-Jona, Switzerland.“
In 1874, Caspar Melchior Gebert was granted to work as a plumber in Rapperswil, Switzerland. In 1905, he also started to manufacture parts. Its first wood-made cistern for toilet, the Phoenix, lead-coated and with accessories (particularly a flush mechanism) of such material, was revolutionary and a great success, being patented in 1912. Gebert died in 1909, and his sons Albert and Leo continued running the business. During the next years, the company expanded through Switzerland and some foreign markets, incorporating new products (pipes, taps and valves). In the 30s, the company was one of the first to introduce plastic-made parts in the sanitary industry.
The Second World War affected the company, but it soon recovered and in 1952 introduced the first all-plastic toilet tank made frompolyethylene.
In 1953, Heinrich and Klaus Gebert inherited the control of the company and named it Geberit. The company opened a distribution subsidiary and new branches in Europe, which, besides parts, also offered technical services.
The first international subsidiary was opened in 1955, in Pfullendorf, Germany, where was also constructed the first factory outside Switzerland. Germany was considered a market with a strong growth potential. Since then, a number of subsidiaries were created in European countries, including France (1959) and Austria (1965). The company moved from Rapperswil to a larger facility in Rapperswil-Jona and introduced a concealed tank system. In 1972 was open a third plant in Potterbrunn, Austria. The company also created subsidiaries in Denmark, Belgium and the Netherlands.
During the 1970s, Geberit introduced more new products, such as full drainage systems, flush-mounted systems, and new components for the hygiene sector. The company made an attempt to enter into the American market, creating a subsidiary in Michigan, Indiana. However, the presence in United States during the next years was insignificant.
In 1977, the company entered into the installation systems market, which became the most important market of the company. In 1980, to cope with the new necessities, the German facilities were expanded and a warehouse complex was opened at its Rapperswil-Jona headquarters. It also acquired a large company of that market, Sanbloc GmbH. In 1986, it automated its production. In 1989, it acquired a stake in FAE Fluid Air Energy, joining the fresh water supply systems sector.
In 1990, the facilities of Potterbrunn were expanded. In 1994, a new company plant (from the Petrec’s subsidiary) was established in Liechtenstein to take advantage of the new markets surged after the end of the Cold War.
In 1991, was appointed the first no-Gebert CEO of the company: Gunter F. Kelm. The company continued its expansion, with new facilities (a new Rapperswil-Jona’s facility and a factory for its Mepla brand in Givisiez), and new international subsidiaries (Italy and Portugal).
In 1995, the Geberts sold Geberit to the British private equity firm Doughty Hanson. With the new cash, the company started a series of acquisitions, which included Italy’s Deriplast and Walking Pipe Italiana, Germany’s Buchler Werkzeugbau AG and United Kingdom’s Caradon Terrain Ltd. In 1998, the company opened its first production plant in China.
In June 1999, Geberit was listed on the SWX Swiss Exchange. In July 1999, it raised its stake in FAE Fluid Air Energy to 70 percent, with an agreement to take full control of FAE by 2001.
In 2001, the company suffered because of the weakness of the German market, but soon recovered. In 2002, it acquired a majority stake in the Austrian company Huter Vorfertigung GmbH. In July of that year, with the aim of strengthen its position in the American market, it purchased the company Chicago Faucet at a cost of 33.3 million dollars.
In 2004, it purchased from Lindsay Goldberg & Bessemer LP (at a cost of 372.5 million euros) the leading metal pipe manufacturer Mapress Holding GmbH.
The Geberit share was listed on the Swiss Market Index (SMI) in 2012.”
*Information from Forbes.com and Wikipedia.org
**Video published on YouTube by “GeberitGroup“