Our History

The Knauf Group is able to look back at a long and exciting history. Over many decades, the Knauf Group has successfully completed the transition from a pure family-run company to a globally operating family of companies – while retaining its fundamental values, such as cooperation, togetherness, and partnership. It


has always been this special combination of tradition and innovation that has made this company, which is still family-owned, what it is today: a highly successful global player that represents modernity, highest product quality and diversity, as well as loyalty and solidarity.


It all started in 1932, when two brothers and mining engineers Alfons and Karl Knauf secured the mining rights to gypsum deposits in the Schengen community (Obermosel) in Germany. The project was quickly crowned with success: by 1933 Knauf’s first gypsum factory was established in Perl (Moselle), Germany – and this factory is still the nucleus of production technology for the worldwide Knauf Group.


The founding of the Federal Republic of Germany in 1949 was also a time of new beginnings for Knauf – coinciding with a milestone in the company’s history as the company relocated from Perl to Iphofen in northern Bavaria.


Iphofen and leadership in innovationIn Iphofen growth of the family company as an innovative partner in the building materials industry accelerated. For example, Knauf created completely new construction methods with the production of fully new gypsum boards in 1958. A few years later, the company developed drylining systems for the first time ever and broadened its range of products continuously to include processing components, special tools, and metal profiles for wall and ceiling constructions.


In 1970, Knauf made its first investment in a building material that was not made from gypsum: Perlite. Knauf’s involvement in Deutsche Perlite GmbH (in Dortmund) underlined the systematic ambitions of its business in the long run.


In 1978, Knauf laid the cornerstone for its insulation materials division, an area that is still very important today: Knauf took over a production facility for glass wool insulation material in Shelbyville (USA).


At the beginning of the 1980’s, another significant change was on the way: Nikolaus and Baldwin Knauf, sons of the founders, took over management of the Group – and, with their consequent continuation and implementation of the company’s philosophy, had a significant share in Knauf’s growth. Knauf now has 150 production facilities and sales organisations in over 60 countries, 24,000 employees worldwide, and sales of 5.7 billion Euro (in 2011).


In 2008, Nikolaus and Baldwin Knauf transferred to the shareholders’ committee of the company. In the committee, they alternate in holding the position of chairman and vice-chairman.


Currently, the management of the Knauf Group is in the hands of Manfred Grundke and Alexander Knauf, who are also personally liable general partners. Knauf: A group of companies with a long history. Great success. Poised for the challenges of the future. Knauf can.

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