Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 148,489 pages of information and 233,926 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Bowater Industries

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1984 After the demerger of Bowater Corporation's North American newsprint and pulp operations, as Bowater Inc, the UK-based firm was renamed Bowater Industries plc. It became a business with five functionally-organized operating groups:

  • Packaging and industrial products
  • Builders' merchants group
  • Building products group
  • Freight services group
  • Australian group.

In the UK, the manufacture of packaging was the leading activity, and the building products activities were mostly in the United Kingdom and Europe.

1984 Acquired Harcostar[1]

The strategy of the mid-1980s to the mid-1990s was to focus on activities in which the firm enjoyed managerial expertise and excellence.

1986 Tissue manufacturing was the firm's foremost activity in Australia, following the acquisition of Scott's 50 percent interest in Bowater-Scott of Australia in 1986, in return for the sale of Bowater's interest in Bowater-Scott's UK firm to Scott Paper.

1987 Acquired Rexham Corporation, a manufacturer of plastic, paper and foil, based in North Carolina.

1989 Further consideration of Bowater's strategic direction led to the disposal of the freight group.

1990 £382 million takeover of Norton Opax PLC, whose strengths lay in the complementary fields of printing and publishing. The creation of the combined entity was marked by a new name - Bowater PLC.

1992 Bowater expanded in packaging by acquiring Cope Allman Packaging and DRG Packaging[2]

1993 Acquired the remainder of Mitek, maker of metal fittings for constructing timber frames[3]

1995 The Company changed its name to Rexam

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. The Times, Jul 17, 1985
  2. The Times, March 03, 1992
  3. The Times Jan. 5, 1993