Future of Magnani

November 09, 2015 James Macdougall

The future for the Magnani Paper brand in Australia

Key points:

  • Magnani Papers Australia (MPA), that's me, is still trading.
  • MPA's supplier, Magnani SRL has been placed in the hand of liquidators.
  • Manufacturing of Magnani fine art and book papers has been taken over by Gruppo Cordenons.
  • Timelines uncertain but manufacturing has resumed and quality is being assessed.
  • Cordenons is exhibiting a strong commitment to the Magnani brand.
  • We have limited stocks available on as strictly first in best dressed basis.
  • MPA, that's us, will continue and has no plans of liquidation :)

Liquidation of Magnani, the Italian paper manufacturer

In around August 2014 the Italian company Magnani SRL was placed in the hands of liquidators. Magnani SRL was the private company that operated the Cartiere Magnani paper mill in Pescia, Pistoia. The company had been experiencing financial difficulties for a number of years. Magnani was the sole supplier of fine art and book papers to our company, Magnani Papers Australia. The last delivery of paper we received from the mill was in November 2013.

In early 2014 a landslide on the main road into the paper mill blocked the access of truck traffic, meaning that raw materials could not be received and finished goods could not be despatched. This continued for some months, and as nothing was being shipped in or out of the mill cash flow was affected. The owner was reluctant to commit further funds to the business and as a result a liquidator was appointed. The liquidator attempted to sell the business as a going concern, but was not successful. Manufacturing has now totally ceased at the Pescia mill and is unlikely to ever resume.

Established Italian paper manufacturer Gruppo Cordenons SRL has purchased some of the assets from the liquidator. Manufacturing has been relocated to the main paper mill of Cordenons in a modern facility an hour or so north of Venice. A separate dedicated warehouse and paper converting facility has been set up close to Pescia to maintain some connection to the original Magnani tradition. The establishment of this facility, and the funds invested, give us an indication that Cordenons is firmly committed to the continuation of the Magnani brand under the new name. The new company has been called Magnani 1404 SRL. The 1404 is a reference to the year the Magnani family commenced paper manufacture by hand at the historic old mill in Pescia.

In April and May, my partner Sara and I travelled to Italy partly for a holiday, and partly to investigate some other business opportunities. We also visited the new warehouse facility of Magnani 1404. We were reassured by what we saw and our discussions with the staff of the new business. We met with the former sales manager at Magnani SRL, whom I have known for the past 6 years. He has been employed by the new owners and provides a vital link between the old company and the new owners. Some of the converting staff and one of the papermakers have also been employed. At this time I am uncertain as to exactly what products will be made by the new owners, and when production will resume. I understand that the recipes and know-how of the old mill is being transferred to the new. I also understand that the machinery owned by Cordenons on which Magnani papers will be made a similar type of mould machine as was used at the old mill, but wider and better maintained. I hope that the new owners will be able to replicate the Magnani papers range, in both the scope and quality of the previous range.

The Future

So what does this all mean for the future of Magnani papers in Australia? Firstly we have very limited stocks. You can refer here to a list of currently available stocks. Orders will be placed strictly on a first in best dressed basis. It is my sincere hope that a significant portion of the previous range of papers will be manufactured for the new company. I am led to believe this will be Incisioni, Litho, Corona, Pescia, Revere and Acquerello. I also believe some of the book papers are planned. Of my beloved Annigoni paper, I have no news, but I am pushing hard for its re-introduction. When this will all happen I do not know, but some production should be commencing within the next few weeks. It is my hope that by the end of this year we should have a reasonable range of papers back in stock. We just recently accepted a delivery of the last remaining few hundred of the hard bound journals. A new website will shortly be established for online sales of the journals, and for a some of the other existing stocks.

Magnani has been an important part of my life for the past 6 years. I have been very quiet over the past year or so as I became aware of problems with the mill back in February last year, and was reluctant to report until we had solid information. We intend to rebuild the brand here in Australia providing the new owners can supply us with paper that is of similar quality to that previously made. We may not carry as large a range as before, but we will make every effort to satisfy the majority of the needs of our existing long term loyal customers. I will keep you informed by brief email newsletters of important developments as they occur, and will publish the same on our website, and on the facebook page,