Saudi capitals on Carrara’s white marble quarries, the flagship of the stonework sector of Northern Tuscany. According to reports by numerous press agencies, the Arab Construction Products Holding Company group has set its eyes on Marmi Carrara, a company with 23 million Euros in turnover in 2013, and with participations in the area’s major white marble quarries, such as Canalgrande, Gioia, Lorano, as well as those that belong to the Società Apuana Marmi.
The recently signed preliminary agreement forecasts a 45 million Euro commitment on behalf of the Middle-Eastern group that would guarantee itself 50% of the company, acquiring the stock from some of the Tuscan entrepreneurial families that currently participate in the capital. The agreement should be formalized within the month. CPC also counts on a broad portfolio of businesses in the construction sector and, specifically, is already present in the marble industry through MGI, the Marble and Granite International Company that already owns 26 marble and granite quarries, as well as being active in the transformation of raw materials.
With the investment in Carrara, the Saudi holding – which belongs to the Binladin family – is strengthening its supply of raw materials and, above all, gains access to the most refined and demanded white marble on international markets. According to Il Sole 24 Ore publications, approximately 1 – 1.2 million tons of white marble are extracted from the Società Apuana Marmi every year, to then be shipped to countries all around the world. It is therefore a strategic investment in one of the most characteristic districts of Tuscan economy.
The stone district, called “apuo-versiliese” because of it location between the Apuan Alps [Alpi Apuane] and [the] Versilia [region], is constituted by approximately 180 enterprises just in its core business – according to the Unioncamere’s National Observatory of Districts [Osservatorio Nazionale dei Distretti di Unioncamere – that developed a turnover of more than 600 million Euros in 2012, and which employ 1,800 workers.
Alongside the traditional production of marble blocks and slabs, over time the district has also developed the craftsmanship of other materials originated in other areas and, more importantly, it has consolidated also the segment of machinery to work marble. The “bianco di Carrara” [“Carrara’s white”] is the material that had the most success at the international level, fostering exports that primarily pertain to the Far East, the European Union, the Middle East, and the United States.
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