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History of the Group in Central Europe
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The Saint-Gobain Group has been industrially represented in Central Europe for over 160 years. Saint-Gobain’s involvement abroad began with the first mirror glass production plant in Mannheim, Germany, in 1853. Here, as in the other countries around the world, Saint-Gobain initially established itself as a major glass producer.

The production of insulating materials and glass-fibre reinforcements started around 1930.
The Group’s other activities in the region were extended through the acquisition of leading companies and through major investments since 1971.

Since 2012 the General Delegation Central & Northern Europe consists of Germany, Austria, Belgium, Netherlands and Luxembourg. Today, all four main business sectors of Saint-Gobain are represented in the area of the General Delegation for Central Europe.


The most important historical data

1853 – Saint-Gobain is represented for the first time in Germany with the joint operation of a mirror glassworks in Mannheim.

1857 – The group purchases Aachener Spiegelmanufaktur AG with headquarters in Stolberg.

1858 – Merger of Saint Quirin and Saint-Gobain to form the “Société Anonyme des Manufactures des Glaces et Produits Chimiques de Saint-Gobain, Chauny & Cirey”.

1905 – Acquisition of glassworks in Herzogenrath near Aachen.top

1920 – Saint-Gobain opens a central office in Germany located in Aachen which coordinated the German branch offices as well as the Saint-Gobain participations in glassworks in the Czech Republic, Romania, Poland and Hungary.

1927 – Saint-Gobain presents SECURIT safety glass.

1930 – Entry into reinforcement fibres. The Flat Glass sector is established in Germany. Also a 50-percent participation in Glaswatte GmbH Bergisch Gladbach.

1937 – Sales office "Isover-bel" for insulating materials in Belgium.

1960 – TEL process is introduced in Bergisch Gladbach.

1961 – First production for Isover insulating materials in Etten-Leur, Netherlands.

1966 – First German floating plant in Porz.

1970-1980  – Development of the group of companies in Germany through company acquisitions in the areas of pipes (Halbergerhütte), insulating materials (Grünzweig + Hartmann) and packaging (Glashüttenwerke Kipfenberg).

1990 – Saint-Gobain opens up further German markets: abrasives and ceramics & plastics (through the acquisition of the globally-operating Norton Group).

1991 – Majority interest in Saint-Gobain Oberland, packaging glass. top

1992 – Acquisition of Flachglas Torgau including the glass branch offices.

1996 – General Direction for Germany and Central Europe.
Acquisition of “Poliet” in France and thus entry into the building-materials sector through Terranova.

1999 – Purchase of the AnnaWerk, production of fire-proof materials.

2000 – Acquisition of the leading building material dealer Raab Karcher in Germany. Entry into the building distribution segment.

2001 – Acquisition of Keramundo, the leading tile dealer in Germany.

2005 – Acquisition of the Austrian manufacturer of fibreglass wallpapers Hornstein Glastextil.
Acquisition of British Plaster Board (BPB), which is represented in the region by Rigips or Gyproc and BPB Formula. The Plaster activity is established under the main division Building Materials.

2006 – Start-Up of the Diesel Particulate Filter Production in Rödental, Germany.

2006 – Foundation of a 50/50 joint-venture between Saint-Gobain Glass & Shell for the production and sale of next generation photovoltaic panels. This company, named AVANCIS, will construct production facilities in Torgau, Germany (Saxony). The initial capacity of the plant will be 20 MW, to be rapidly scaled up. Production should commence in 2008.

2008 – Finalization of the Maxit acquisition. Saint-Gobain doubles the size of its industrial mortars business. Maxit is a leading manufacturer of industrial mortars and reported sales of €1,338 million in 2007, up 8.2% year-on-year. It has 5,130 employees.

2009 – Take-over of the Shell participation in Avancis. 100% participation in the production and sale of photovoltaic modules in Torgau.

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