As reported by Toscana24 last week, Lucca’s paper district held up better than most in Italy under the long-term crisis of 2008-2015, continuing to grow and invest. Now Lucca’s paper district, specialised in hygienic tissue paper – sales for 4.4 billion euros in 2016, plus 800 million for paper mechanics, 200 companies and 10,000 total staff – makes its European leadership even stronger by accelerating the attraction of foreign investment and also stimulating Italian companies to invest.

The latest transaction comes from the UK multinational Ds Smith, which is preparing to expand Porcari’s paper mill and launch a new generation of packaging paper, a first for Italy, 100% recycled and with weight lower by 30% compared to similar products already on the market while retaining the same strength. A few days earlier, the German group Körber, which already owns the leading paper machine business Fabio Perini, announced the acquisition of Porcari’s Mtc, a manufacturer of machines that make handkerchiefs and napkins, with a 30 million turnover, 30% EBITDA and 60 employees, which will now develop under an Industry 4.0 project.

These two investments join others made by Italian companies, in the district and abroad; the Lucca district managed to keep running and innovating thanks to this mix of multinationals and “robust” family businesses.

Ds Smith’s operation will include an extension of 13,000 square meters in the current industrial area and a technological upgrade for more efficient production, for an overall investment of at least 50 million euros, which could go up to 100 million depending on the technology chosen by the multinational (whose closing budget of April 30, 2017 had revenues of 4.78 billion pounds).

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