Paper Board Alliance – PBA has purchased Tecno Paper, a metalworking company in Marlia (Lucca) which produces machinery and equipment for paper mills. It was founded in 2005 thanks to the experience of some engineers, and their expertise with metal working.
The acquisition was made official yesterday – Friday 5 March – by the transfer of shares. The company from Lucca has grown exponentially over the years, and today has a turnover of around €9 million with around 60 employees.
The agreement establishes that Tecno Paper founding business partners Claudio Ferrari and Paolo Baldaccini hold 30% of the company, splitting 15% each. The other 70% is purchased by Paper Board Alliance – PBA, the holding company that combines Cartiera dell’Adda and Industria Cartaria Pieretti – ICP. These two companies produce 100% recycled paper and cardboard in the respective plants of Lecco and Marlia (Lucca).
Assisting Paper Board Alliance S.p.A in this procedure was law firm Studio Legale Gattai, Minoli, Partners, a team consisting of partner Luca Minoli, counsel Francesco Buoso, and associate Tommaso Soragni. Ceresio Investors – a Swiss banking group with offices in Milan and London – assisted Tecno Paper and the selling associates as a financial advisor under Alessandro Santini’s lead, and handled all the agreements regarding the associates who will maintain shareholding.
This operation allows PBA to expand its growth: the company purchased 80% of ICP in July 2018, and Tubicom through ICP in January 2020. Then, after the recent exit by Tiziano Pieretti from the company’s capital and board of directors in December 2021, the holding company owned by the Cima family again holds all of the PBA Paper Mill Group capital, and carries out a development programme for internal and external lines, as announced last December.
Paper Board Alliance President Giuseppe Cimastates “We’ve been working for a long time on an improvement programme of the organisational aspects that are essential for an increase in production. We do this by combining our family’s experience with the strengthening of management structure, which is responsible for strategic planning. The Group’s aim for the years to come is to keep growing. We want to do this through “horizontal” operations, which means purchasing other paper mills to specialise each plant with resulting advantages in cost and quality, as well as “vertical” operations, meaning integration projects with the supply chain based on an increase in our innovation skills and technological development, which have always been cornerstones of our company. The operation with Tecno Paper fits in perfectly with this framework because it allows us to improve our quality further, and ensures the assistance of a qualified technological partner who can offer more and more customised solutions. At the same time, we avoid the risk of seeing it purchased by a big foreign plant engineering player who could misrepresent its peculiarities”.
PBA Group ended financial year 2021 with 250 employees, a paper production of 320.000 tons, an estimated turnover of around €130 million, and an increasing growth in volumes. Besides the production centres of Lecco and Marlia (Lucca), the Group includes 3 operational companies: one specialises in the purchasing of raw material, one is a logistics and cutting centre in the province of Lodi, and the third is a subsidiary for waste management. In 2020 the operational holding company was established, which is not only a shareholder, but also supplies the Group’s companies with qualified services in the fields of finance and administration, engineering, logistics, sales, and IT.
Cima continues “Tecno Paper will operate in full autonomy under the strong guidance of Paolo Baldaccini, who will be the President and CEO. Our goal is to guarantee Tecno Paper the conditions to keep growing on the market by increasing the quality of the services, and the range of machinery produced for their clients. By joining our Group – Cima concludes – Tecno Paper will benefit from our organisation’s management skills, and the experience of our paper mills in plant engineering planning. Furthermore, Tecno Paper will benefit from financial, administrative, and legal support from the Group’s holding company, which is important to easily overcome the market’s cyclic nature”.
Tecno Paper CEO Paolo Baldaccini, leading figure in this transition to PBA, adds “This agreement with PBA took place when we were making a new rewinder for them. We designed it, they liked the machine, we installed it, and we discussed the machine’s start up and installation. This is when our collaboration started, which became stronger over time up to PBA’s shareholding in Tecno Paper. The merging of these two entities, which are different but complementary, will bring future benefits as for the supply we can offer to paper mills. Besides mere mechanical working, a paper mill needs a targeted service. It needs specific and dedicated solutions that only those with great knowledge of paper production can give, knowledge which goes beyond the mechanical. Thanks to PBA’s experience we will develop new activities in the field of service, meaning assistance and the intervention of our engineers in the company, as well as the production of new highly specialised mechanical processes, which we will create from scratch to offer our clients an even more complete service. I’m referring to activities of planning which concern not only our “winding system technology” – our core business made of rewinders and reels – but also the adjustment of our lines of production, the paper machines, where we can offer appropriate solutions for the requested purposes. All of this is possible thanks to the synergy inside the group that allows us to test what is being produced, and introduce it on the market with an already high level of efficiency”.