World Monitor Mag WM_June 2018 web - Page 110

additional content Villeroy & Boch Villeroy & Boch is a large manufacturer of ceramics with its company headquarters located in Mettlach, Germany. The company began in the tiny Lorraine village of Audun le Tiche, where an iron master François Boch set up a pottery company with his three sons in 1748. In 1766 Boch was licensed to build a ceramics’ kiln works in nearby Septfontaines, Luxembourg, where it operated a porcelain factory. In 1785 Nicolas Villeroy became the sole owner of the faience manufactory at Wallerfangen. In 1812 Jean-François Boch began construction of kilns in the nearby town of Mettlach, Saarland. In 1824 Boch commenced transfer printing on porcelain from engraved copper plates. On 14 April 1836, the Jean François Boch company merged with that of its competitor, Nicolas Villeroy, and became Villeroy & Boch, (V&B, also simply 'VB'). Since 1869, when Villeroy & Boch opened its first manufacturer specializing in architectural tiles, the company has operated in three main areas, autonomously until 1982: tablewares, tiles for flooring and revetments, and fine plumbing fixtures. Among its innovations in Mettlach at the end of the nineteenth century was Phanolith, a kind of semi-transparent porcelain that combines the characteristics and benefits of jasperware and pate-sur-pate. The creator of the Phanolith was the ceramics artist Jean-Baptiste Stahl who headed the modelling section of Villeroy & Boch. Phanolith first gained wide public attention at the Paris Exposition Universelle (1900). Villeroy & Boch has continued to base its broadest market in Germany. The company's Luxembourg factory was closed down in 2010. While the company is no longer run by a family member, under the present Group Chairman, Frank Goering, there are various family members currently working in the company. Since 1990 the company has been listed on the German stock market, ticker symbol VIB3, but the voting capital is still in the hands of the family descendants. The majority of V&B shares is owned by Eczacibasi Holding. 102 world monitor