Stone World

Walker Zanger acquires Cerámica Antique

July 1, 2009

SYLMAR, CA -- Walker Zanger, a large distributor of stone and tile with locations throughout the U.S., recently announced its acquisition of one of the world's largest artisan ceramic tile manufacturing facilities, Cerámica Antique. WZ Holdings, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Walker & Zanger, Inc. has acquired majority ownership in Cerámica Antique. As the distributor, and now, majority owner of the manufacturer of some of the most sought-after designs in ceramic tile, Walker Zanger is taking steps to further solidify its place as an industry leader, according to the company. With the purchase of the state-of-the-art facility, Walker Zanger gains the premier manufacturer of hand-crafted ceramic tiles, controls the production of some of its most complex products and obtains engineering knowledge, patents and flexibility.

"Walker Zanger sees the investment in Cerámica Antique as an investment in the company's future," said Jonathan Zanger, president of Walker Zanger. "We have enjoyed a long and rewarding 15-year relationship with this company, and the acquisition affords Walker Zanger the opportunity to ensure the viability of the long-term ceramic supply chain, guarantee timely production and provide a facility where we can experiment with future product collections."

Located in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, Cerámica Antique is responsible for producing some of the most popular Walker Zanger collections: Studio Moderne by Michael Berman, Vibe, Ceramica Alhambra and Mizu. Prior to the acquisition, Walker Zanger worked hand-in-hand with the facility to develop patented techniques for producing artisan glazes. Walker Zanger now owns the licenses to the proprietary technology that allows large-scale format tile with artisan glazes to be produced without warpage, as featured in the 1- x 24-inch tiles in the Mizu Collection, or the 18- x 20-inch Fretwork tiles in the Studio Moderne Collection by Michael Berman.

While many companies related to the building and home industry are making sweeping cuts to budgets and partnerships, Walker Zanger sees a strategic opportunity with this acquisition and will continue business as usual with the facility, reports the company. "Given our long-standing business relationship with Cerámica Antique, we understand that this investment from Walker Zanger will allow the facility to be stronger and better positioned to prosper when the economy turns around," said Zanger.

A significant ownership portion of Cerámica Antique will remain in the hands of Humberto Sereno, the founder, creative and technical force behind the company. Sereno will serve as president of Cerámica Antique and will run the company's operations with assistance from the Walker Zanger team. Current Cerámica Antique employees will remain, maintaining more than 200 jobs as Walker Zanger continues its involvement with the San Miguel de Allende community.