Cabinet for Economic Development
Governor Beshear Announces Florida Tile to Relocate Corporate Headquarters to Kentucky

Press Release Date:  Thursday, July 30, 2009  
Contact Information:  Mandy Lambert, (502) 564-7670  

Move to Lexington brings HQ operation closer to manufacturing plant and national distribution center

FRANKFORT, Ky. (July 30, 2009) – Gov. Steve Beshear and Economic Development Cabinet Interim Secretary Larry Hayes today announced the relocation of Florida Tile, Inc.’s corporate headquarters from Lakeland, Fla., to Lexington, Ky.  The move will bring the company’s corporate offices in close proximity to its manufacturing plant and national distribution center located in Lawrenceburg, Ky.   

“Florida Tile’s history and future in Kentucky is a real success story,” said Gov. Beshear.  “It demonstrates Kentucky’s ability to partner with our existing industry base and create additional jobs and opportunities for our citizens.  We’re pleased to welcome the relocation of Florida Tile’s headquarters to central Kentucky and will continue to work with them on future growth opportunities.” 

The project is one of the first to be approved by the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) under Kentucky’s new incentive program, the Kentucky Business Investment (KBI) Program.  KEDFA preliminarily approved Florida Tile for up to $1,275,000 in tax incentives, which can be earned over a 10-year period through corporate income tax credits and wage assessments.  The maximum annual approved amount to be earned is $127,500.   

The business incentive program is a result of Gov. Beshear’s Incentives for a New Kentucky legislation, sponsored by Rep. Tommy Thompson (D-Owensboro) and passed during the 2009 Extraordinary Session of the Kentucky General Assembly.  The KBI program consolidates four incentive programs into a single, more flexible program for new and expanding businesses.


“By moving the corporate office closer to our manufacturing and distribution operations, we believe we can develop many new synergies and improve communication,” said Andrea Zanni, executive vice president and chief financial officer for Florida Tile.  “We appreciate the assistance from the Commonwealth of Kentucky and Commerce Lexington in making this project possible.  Florida Tile looks forward to locating and growing in Kentucky.”  

The corporate headquarters relocation, which is anticipated to be complete within one year, will result in the initial creation of 25 new jobs growing to 51 over the term of the agreement. The project represents a capital investment of $3,732,500 in the Commonwealth. 

“I think moving Florida Tile’s headquarters to Lexington is the right strategic move for our organization,” said Massimo Barbari, executive vice president of sales and marketing for Florida Tile. “Having all critical departments located under the same roof will develop our company’s culture and increase Florida Tile efficiencies. We are also proud to contribute to the Kentucky economy by creating new jobs and new business opportunities in the community.” 

“We are delighted Florida Tile has chosen Lexington as its new home,” said Lexington Mayor Jim Newberry.  “The creation of new, good jobs for our community is encouraging, especially with the current national economic climate.  Lexington is undoubtedly one of the best places to live, work and raise a family and I am confident Florida Tile will be happy with its decision to relocate to the Bluegrass.  We welcome them and are eager to call them one of our corporate partners in moving Lexington’s economy forward.” 

“Commerce Lexington welcomes Florida Tile to Lexington,” said Commerce Lexington President and CEO, Bob Quick.  “Florida Tile’s relocation to Lexington for their corporate headquarters is a great addition to our business community.  We look forward to working with them as they grow in the Bluegrass.”    

Florida Tile is a world-class manufacturer and distributor of porcelain and ceramic wall tile.  The company also imports and distributes natural stone and other decorative products.  Florida Tile is a fully owned subsidiary of Panaria Group, a public company on the Milan Stock Exchange (MILAN: PAN IM) and a leading manufacturer and distributor in over 100 countries around the world, through six manufacturing sites in Italy, Portugal and the USA and eight brands positioned in the high-end of the market.