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Bowler Metcalf is a plastics packaging group once again. It’s not that the company ever veered off on an acquisitions tangent, but sentiment looked quite parched six months ago when it seemed like efforts to unbundle or sell its 41.38% stake in niche soft-drink bottler SoftBev could be prolonged.SoftBev was formed a few years ago from the merger of Bowler-owned Quality Beverages and Shoreline. Quality fared well in its Western Cape backyard and Shoreline held its own in KwaZulu-Natal. But finding profitable traction in the competitive Gauteng market was far more challenging.While the bottling associate was looking for some fizz, Bowler found its core packaging segment having to reinvent its offering to maintain historic margins in an operating environment thrown somewhat into disarray by increased international competition.The contention was that shedding the beverages associate would allow Bowler to focus exclusively on its packaging. So it was with some relief that, earlier this m...
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