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British Industrial History

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Rexam Plc is a British multinational consumer packaging company headquartered in London. It is the largest manufacturer of beverage cans in the world and a leading producer of rigid plastic packaging. It has around 70 plants in 25 countries across Asia, Europe, North America and South America.

Rexam is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index.

1881 The company was founded by William Vansittart Bowater in London selling paper.

In 1923 his son, Eric, began the work that refocused the business into paper manufacturing under the name Bowater Paper Mills.

The Company diversified into tissue manufacturing in 1956 forming Bowater-Scott, a joint venture with the Scott Corporation.

1986 Scott Corporation bought out the Bowater interest in the joint venture

In 1995 the name was changed to Rexam, an abbreviation of the name of one of the Company's subsidiaries, Regal Paper America, and the business was refocused again – this time into consumer packaging.

In 2005 Rexam disposed of its glass manufacturing businesses to Ardagh Glass Group so as to concentrate on its beverage can production worldwide. It then went on to acquire O-I Plastics, a plastic packaging business in North America, in 2007.

In June 2011 Rexam agreed to sell its lid-making operations to the U.S. based Berry Plastics for £222 million (US$360 million).

Rexam has around 70 plants in 25 countries and employs around 19,000 people. Its operations span Europe, the Americas and Asia.

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