Panariagroup Industrie Ceramiche S.P.A., a publicly traded Italian corporation, announced that it has acquired the assets of Lakeland, Fla.-based Florida Tile Industries, one of the leading producers, marketers, and distributors of ceramic tile and tile accessories in the United States. The company said does not anticipate changes in staffing, and that Panariagroup plans to upgrade Florida Tile's manufacturing operations. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Among the assets acquired by Panariagroup 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.

"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 acquisition 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."