VERONA, ITALY -- During Marmomacc 2003, Diamant Boart S.A. held a press conference to announce changes in the company, including its new ownership. The company, which is a manufacturer and distributor of diamond tools and equipment for the construction and stone industry, was purchased by Electrolux -- a leading Swedish firm, primarily associated with household appliances.

“We needed Diamant Boart to enter into the stone industry,” said Anders Ströby, president of Electrolux Construction Products. “We were mostly in construction.” Ströby explained that Electrolux first bought Dimas in 1997 to put its foot in the door of the diamond tools industry. In 2001, the opportunity surfaced to purchase Diamant Boart. Today, the Diamant Boart Group includes Diamant Boart, Dimas, Partner and Target.

“We are an industrial company,” he said. “The only way to step into the stone industry is by acquiring a company, because you get the knowledge, experience and database. Stone is the biggest business in Italy, and we think our greatest strength is our global experience. We believe products are driving our business, and we will invest in product research and development.”

Diamant Boart was established in 1937 and is headquartered in Brussels, Belgium. The company operates 18 manufacturing factories worldwide and consists of 2,300 employees, according to Ströby. Additional locations include Blois, France; Inofyta, Greece; Madrid, Spain; Riode Mouro, Portugal; Xiamen, China; Columbia, SC; and Olathe, KS.

“A new factory opened in China in January 2003,” said Ströby, explaining that it produces stone products for the local market. “High-quality machines need high-quality tools. That's the niche we are creating in China.” According to Ströby, Diamant Boart will also be opening a new factory in Brazil in the near future.

“Our intentions are to strictly focus on diamond tools -- not machinery,” he said. “We want to concentrate our efforts. We don't want to be fragmented. Diamant Boart is very strong in wire, gangsaw and larger blades. It's growing in milling tools.”

According to Ströby, 40% of the company's market is North America, 2% is South America and 44% is Europe. “Our dominating position in stone is in Europe, including Turkey,” he said, adding that Diamant Boart sells to quarriers, stone fabricating facilities and direct sales. “We believe with the cost of diamonds today -- there's been a massive reduction in the last two years -- there is an opportunity for us.” Future goals include producing a more high-quality diamond for use in new applications.