Tate & Lyle Sells EU Sugar Biz

July 1/Yonkers, N.Y./PRNewswire -- American Sugar Refining (ASR) signed an agreement to acquire Tate & Lyle PLC's European cane sugar operations.

Tate & Lyle is the leading cane sugar producer in the European Union. The acquisition of its refineries in London, England, and Lisbon, Portugal, increases ASR's total refining capacity to six million metric tons per year. The 211 million pounds Sterling ($318 million) acquisition includes a license for use of the distinguished Tate & Lyle brand in connection with the sale of sugar.

"The acquisition of Tate & Lyle's European sugar operations is consistent with our strategic vision for expansion in the sugar refining sector," said Luis Fernandez, ASR co-president. "Tate & Lyle is steeped in 130 years of tradition and consumer loyalty. We recognize the importance and history of the Tate & Lyle sugar brand and are proud to add it to our existing brand portfolio."

This acquisition marks the third large-scale transaction between the two companies. ASR purchased Tate & Lyle North American Sugars Inc. (Domino Sugar) and its three refineries in 2001. More recently, ASR acquired Tate & Lyle Canada Ltd. (Redpath Sugar) in 2007, which included Canada's largest refinery. ASR's expertise lies in the operation of cane sugar refineries and the logistics of the related supply chain as well as the marketing of recognized retail sugar brands.

"Sugar is a global business," said Antonio L. Contreras, Jr., ASR co-president. "This acquisition makes perfect sense for ASR. We're sugar people who are committed to and understand the sugar business. The European acquisition in many ways mirrors our North American operations and will complement our company."

From the July 19, 2010, Prepared Foods E-dition