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Geberit AG
Traded as SIXGEBN
Industry Plumbing parts manufacturing and supplying
Founded 1874[1]
Founder Caspar Melchior Gebert
Headquarters Rapperswil-Jona[1], Switzerland
Area served
Key people
Christian Buhl (CEO)
Albert M. Baehny (chairman)
Revenue CHF 2.09 billion (2014)[2]
CHF 576.9 million (2014)[2]
Profit CHF 498.6 million (2014)[2]
Total assets CHF 2.43 billion (end 2014)[2]
Total equity CHF 1.71 billion (end 2014)[2]
Number of employees
6,247 (end 2014)[2]

Geberit (German pronunciation: [ˈɡəbeːrɪt] or [ˈɡəbeːʁɪt]) is a Switzerland-based multinational group specialized in manufacturing and supplying sanitary parts and related systems. It is one of the leading companies in its field in Europe[3] and, through its subsidiaries, one of the most important worldwide.[1][4][5]


Geberit headquarters.

First years[edit]

In 1874, Caspar Melchior Gebert was granted to work as a plumber in Rapperswil, Switzerland.[5] In 1905, he also started to manufacture parts. Its first wood-made cistern for toilet, the Phoenix, lead-coated and with accessories (particularly a flush mechanism) of such material, was revolutionary and a great success, being patented in 1912. Gebert died in 1909, and his sons Albert and Leo continued running the business. During the next years, the company expanded through Switzerland and some foreign markets, incorporating new products (pipes, taps and valves). In the 1930s, the company was one of the first to introduce plastic-made parts in the sanitary industry.[6]

The Second World War affected the company, but it soon recovered and in 1952 introduced the first all-plastic toilet tank made from polyethylene.[7]


In 1953, Heinrich and Klaus Gebert inherited the control of the company and named it Geberit. The company opened a distribution subsidiary and new branches in Europe, which, besides parts, also offered technical services.

The first international subsidiary was opened in 1955, in Pfullendorf, Germany, where was also constructed the first factory outside Switzerland. Germany was considered a market with a strong growth potential. Since then, a number of subsidiaries were created in European countries, including France (1959) and Austria (1965). The company moved from Rapperswil to a larger facility in Rapperswil-Jona and introduced a concealed tank system. In 1972 was open a third plant in Potterbrunn, Austria. The company also created subsidiaries in Denmark, Belgium and the Netherlands.

During the 1970s, Geberit introduced more new products, such as full drainage systems, flush-mounted systems, and new components for the hygiene sector. The company made an attempt to enter into the American market, creating a subsidiary in Michigan, Indiana. However, the presence in United States during the next years was insignificant.

In 1977, the company entered into the installation systems market, which became the most important market of the company. In 1980, to cope with the new necessities, the German facilities were expanded and a warehouse complex was opened at its Rapperswil-Jona headquarters. It also acquired a large company of that market, Sanbloc GmbH. In 1986, it automated its production. In 1989, it acquired a stake in FAE Fluid Air Energy, joining the fresh water supply systems sector.

In 1990, the facilities of Potterbrunn were expanded. In 1994, a new company plant (from the Petrec's subsidiary) was established in Liechtenstein to take advantage of the new markets surged after the end of the Cold War.

In 1991, was appointed the first no-Gebert CEO of the company: Gunter F. Kelm.[6] The company continued its expansion, with new facilities (a new Rapperswil-Jona's facility and a factory for its Mepla brand in Givisiez), and new international subsidiaries (Italy and Portugal).

In 1995, the Geberts sold Geberit to the British private equity firm Doughty Hanson.[6][8] With the new cash, the company started a series of acquisitions, which included Italy's Deriplast and Walking Pipe Italiana, Germany's Buchler Werkzeugbau AG and United Kingdom's Caradon Terrain Ltd. In 1998, the company opened its first production plant in China.[7]

In June 1999, Geberit was listed on the SWX Swiss Exchange.[5] In July 1999, it raised its stake in FAE Fluid Air Energy to 70 percent, with an agreement to take full control of FAE by 2001.

In 2001, the company suffered because of the weakness of the German market, but soon recovered. In 2002, it acquired a majority stake in the Austrian company Huter Vorfertigung GmbH.[7] In July of that year, with the aim of strengthen its position in the American market, it purchased the company Chicago Faucet at a cost of 33.3 million dollars.[9]

In 2004, it purchased from Lindsay Goldberg & Bessemer LP (at a cost of 372.5 million euros) the leading metal pipe manufacturer Mapress Holding GmbH.[10]

The Geberit share was listed on the Swiss Market Index (SMI) in 2012.

In October 2014, Geberit said would acquire the Finland-based bath and toilet firm Sanitec for a fee of $1.4 billion.[11]


The company manufactures and sells its products mainly under the Geberit brand, although alternative subsidiaries' brands are also used. It has operations in more than 41 countries.[1][4]

Geberit’s strategy rests on the following four strategic pillars: focus on sanitary technology, commitment to innovation, selective geographic expansion and continuous business process optimization.

For a number of years now, Geberit has been pursuing the three-stage sales model, respectively the push-pull strategy. More specifically, Geberit products are distributed via the wholesale trade, with the company training over 100,000 plumbers and decision-makers each year in its 25 training centers around the world or at external training courses.

To date, Geberit has received a range of awards for the company’s innovative strength, product design and its strong focus on sustainability.[12]

Product areas[edit]

Sanitary systems[edit]

The sanitary systems area included installation systems, cisterns, faucets and flushing systems, waste fittings and traps.[1][4]

Piping systems[edit]

This includes piping technology inside and outside of buildings. Its product lines are building drainage systems and supply systems.[1][4]

Bathroom ceramics[edit]

Including WCs, washbasins and other complementary products like furnitures, showers and bathtubs

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f "Company Description: Geberit". BusinessWeek. Retrieved 29 September 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f "2013 Annual Report". Geberit. Retrieved 10 March 2015. 
  3. ^ Staub-Bisang, Mirjam (2012). "Sustainable Investments Strategies". Sustainable Investing for Institutional Investors: Risk, Regulations and Strategies. John Wiley & Sons. p. 25. ISBN 978-1-118-20317-0. 
  4. ^ a b c d "Profile: Geberit". Reuters. Retrieved 29 September 2012. 
  5. ^ a b c "Geberit AG". Retrieved 29 September 2012. 
  6. ^ a b c Zimmerli, Christophe (2011). "Le financement d'un LBO" [Financing an LBO]. Le leveraged buyout (LBO) [The leveraged buyout (LBO)]. SECA (in French) 17. Haupt Verlag AG. pp. 180−185. ISBN 978-3-258-07677-5. 
  7. ^ a b c International Directory of Company Histories 49. St. James Press. November 2002. pp. 161−163. ISBN 1558624759. 
  8. ^ "Historical. Geberit". Doughty Hanson. Retrieved 1 October 2012. 
  9. ^ Riley, Key (10 July 2002). "Chicago Faucet sells for $33M". Crain's Chicago Business. Retrieved 29 September 2012. 
  10. ^ "Geberit Agrees to Buy Germany's Mapress for EU372.5 Million". Bloomberg. 12 December 2004. Retrieved 29 September 2012. 
  11. ^ Swiss firm Geberit to buy Finland's Sanitec for $1.4 billion. Reuters, 14 October 2014
  12. ^ "Awards". Geberit. Retrieved 20 May 2014.