After four years in intensive care, Astrapak is on the mend. The plastic packaging group’s share price is drifting sideways at more than a 50% discount to its net asset value. This suggests a faster recovery than the market has realised. The discount, together with a tiny R506m market cap, make Astrapak a sitter as an acquisition target. Something could already be in the air. The company has been trading under a cautionary since January. A would-be buyer would find no anchor shareholder in its way. Astrapak’s major shareholders are private equity fund Lereko Metier Capital Growth Fund (with a 29% stake), Coronation (25%), Sanlam Investment Management (8%) and Element Investment Management (5%). All are likely to be willing sellers at the right price. A buyer would get a radically restructured company, re-equipped with world-class machinery and supplying a number of multinational fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) clients on long-term contracts. The focus is on high-end rigid plastics...

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