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Tate & Lyle sells Vietnamese sugar business

By Ben Bouckley , 20-Apr-2011

Tate & Lyle announced today that it has agreed to sell its Vietnamese sugar business in a cash deal worth £33m subject to regulatory approval.

The sale to Vietnam firm TH Milk Food Joint Stock Company marks a step change in Tate’s business strategy over the last year, as it moves away from bulk- to industrial- and speciality ingredients and seeks to pay down net debt (£462m in December 2010).

A Tate & Lyle spokesman told FoodNavigator.com: “We exited the [£1bn] EU sugar processing business last July, and got out of molasses last November.”

He added that the sugar exit strategy was consistent wit ceo Javed Ahmed’s three-pronged strategy to “focus, fix and grow” existing non-core businesses.

“Tate has a presence in Vietnam since 1936, and it has been the most successful agri-business in the country. All Tate's sales in Vietnam were sugar (it employed around 500 staff) so it doesn’t have a presence there now.”

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