Ceske Budejovice, Czech Republic
Koh-i-noor is a brilliant diamond in the eyes of schoolchildren all over Europe. Founded in 1790, the company was the first to invent graphite leads from graphite and clay. Today it manufactures and distributes art, office, and school supplies. Formerly a Czech state-owned company, it was privatized in 1992 and bought by Gama Group in 1994. Products include such items as crayons, pastels, pens, pencils and erasers, oil and watercolor paints, tempura and India inks, modelling clays, as well as office supplies such as ink cartridges, plastic injection moldings, and so on. Koh-i-noor products are sold in more than 70 countries. The company is owned by Gama Group, which, in turn, is held by G Group.