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Foundation and History Timeline

Knauf Tanzania is part of the global Knauf Group – a multinational company with a long and exciting history. It was founded in Germany in 1932 and has developed from a small family-owned enterprise to a globally-operating group of companies. Despite our growth and success, we have retained our fundamental values of cooperation, togetherness and partnership. This, in addition to a combination of tradition and innovation, have made Knauf what it is today – a highly successful building materials manufacturer and supplier that represents quality, modernity and diversity.


Two brothers, Alfons and Karl Knauf, secure the mining rights to gypsum deposits in the Schengen community (Obermosel) in Germany. The mining project was instantly successful. By 1933, Knauf’s first gypsum factory was established in Perl (Moselle), Germany. To this day, this factory is the nucleus of production technology for the global Knauf Group.



The Federal Republic of Germany was established, signalling the beginning of new opportunities for Knauf. The company relocated its headquarters from Perl to Iphofen in northern Bavaria. A new gypsum plaster factory was established.


The growth of the Iphofen factory made Knauf a leading stakeholder in the building materials industry. The company began to develop new construction methods as well as innovative gypsum boards during 1958. A couple of years later, Knauf invented drylining systems and broadened its range of products to include processing components, specialised tools and metal profiles for wall and ceiling construction.


Knauf made its first investment in a building material that was not gypsum-based, called Perlite. The investment in Deutsche Perlite GmbH highlighted the Knauf brothers’ long-term ambitions for the company. Knauf’s product portfolio continued to expand; new products included construction chemicals, lime- and cement-bonded plasters, insulation materials, mineral ceiling systems and the Aquapanel cement board.

Knauf also began to manufacture moulded parts from expanded polystyrene (EPS) for the packaging industry.


Knauf laid the foundations for its insulation materials division - a sector that is a vital part of the company today. Knauf took over a production facility for glass wool insulation in Shelbyville, USA.


Nikolaus and Baldwin Knauf, the two sons of the founders, took over the management of the Knauf Group. They continued the company’s philosophy and took it down a path of considerable growth. Knauf now has over 220 production facilities and sales outlets in over 80 countries, which provide jobs for around 28 000 employees.


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


The company has three new general partners; Manfred Grundke, Alexander Knauf and Jörg Kampmeyer. The establishment of operations in Tanzania signals the continued growth and success of the Knauf Group in all corners of the world.