PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla.  (Food-News.net)  Florida Crystals Corporation and Sugar Cane Growers Cooperative of Florida announce their subsidiary American Sugar Refining, Inc. (ASR) today completed the acquisition of Tate & Lyle PLC’s European sugar operations.

The purchase of Tate & Lyle’s refineries in London, England, and Lisbon, Portugal, augments ASR’s total refining capacity to six million tons per year.  ASR is the world’s largest refined cane sugar producer, while Tate & Lyle’s sugar operations are the leading refined cane sugar producers in the European Union. The acquisition also includes a license for use of the distinguished Tate & Lyle brand in connection with the sale of sugar.

“We are very proud of ASR’s success, which is the product of our partnership with the Sugar Cane Growers Cooperative,” said Alfonso Fanjul, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Florida Crystals. “It is proof that working together leads to success.”

Sugar Cane Growers Cooperative President and CEO George H. Wedgworth echoed this sentiment. He said, “It’s pretty amazing to think about how a group of small vegetable farmers pooled their resources together almost 50 years ago, built a raw sugar processing plant, and now with the partnership of Florida Crystals have become vertically integrated to become the world’s largest sugar refiner.  We are pleased with the relationships we have built and the quality brand names and products we produce and offer our customers.”

ASR’s acquisition of Tate & Lyle’s European sugar operations is consistent with the company’s expertise and strategic vision for expansion in the sugar refining sector.  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. Tate & Lyle’s sugar operations offer ASR a complementary platform for growth and success in the EU markets.

“We are honored to have the opportunity to unite our family’s tradition of success in the sugar business with Tate & Lyle’s 130 years of distinguished history,” said J. Pepe Fanjul, Vice Chairman of the Board, President and Chief Operating Officer of Florida Crystals. “The Fanjul family also began our sugar business in Cuba in the second half of the 19th century, in many ways paralleling Tate & Lyle’s history, so we welcome Tate & Lyle’s added century of tradition to our group of companies.”

The acquisition marks the third large-scale transaction between ASR and Tate & Lyle.  In 2001, ASR purchased Tate & Lyle North American Sugars, Inc. (Domino Sugar) and its three refineries.  In 2007, ASR acquired Tate & Lyle Canada Ltd. (Redpath Sugar), which included Canada’s largest refinery. Across North America, ASR owns and operates six cane sugar refineries, located in Yonkers, New York; Baltimore, Maryland; Chalmette, Louisiana; Crockett, California; Toronto, Canada; and Veracruz, Mexico. The company markets its industrial, consumer and specialty products through Domino Foods, Inc., with a brand portfolio of Domino®, C&H®, Florida Crystals® and Redpath®.

The acquisition solidifies Florida Crystals Corporation and Sugar Cane Growers Cooperative as leading companies in the cane sugar industry.  The two companies account for five raw sugar mills and 10 sugar refineries worldwide with an annual output of six million tons of refined sugar.

About Florida Crystals Corporation

Florida Crystals, a Fanjul Corp. company, is headquartered in West Palm Beach, Fla. and led by Alfonso Fanjul, Jr., Chairman and CEO, and J. Pepe Fanjul, Vice Chairman, President and COO.  In addition to its ASR subsidiary, in Florida, the company owns 155,000 acres of land, two sugar mills, a sugar refinery, a rice mill and the largest biomass renewable power plant in North America.  Florida Crystals is the only producer of certified organic sugar grown and harvested in the United States.  Another Fanjul company, Central Romana Corporation, owns 240,000 acres, a sugar mill, refinery, deep sea port, marina, international airport and the Casa de Campo resort in the Dominican Republic as well as a furfural plant in Belgium.

About Sugar Cane Growers Cooperative of Florida

Sugar Cane Growers Cooperative of Florida, headquartered in Belle Glade, Fla., is led by George H. Wedgworth, Chairman and CEO.  The Cooperative is comprised of 46 grower-members who grow sugarcane on approximately 65,000 acres of land. The primary functions of the Cooperative are the harvesting, transporting, and processing of sugarcane and the marketing of raw sugar through American Sugar Refining.

About American Sugar Refining, Inc.

American Sugar Refining, headquartered in Yonkers, New York, is led by co-presidents Luis J. Fernandez and Antonio L. Contreras, Jr.  ASR is the world’s largest sugar refiner. The company produces a full line of consumer, industrial, food service and specialty products.  Across North America, ASR owns and operates six sugar refineries, specialty sugar production facilities and a strategic warehousing and distribution system that all allow seamless production and delivery of its products to customers across the United States, Canada and Mexico. Its Chalmette, Louisiana, sugar refinery is the largest in North America, with an annual capacity of nearly one million tons of sugar.  In the European Union, the company owns and operates sugar refineries in England and Portugal.  ASR is responsible for more than 3,600 direct jobs.  The company’s sweetener products are marketed by Domino Foods, Inc. and its brand portfolio that includes the premiere sugar brands Domino®, C&H®, Florida Crystals®, Redpath® and Tate & Lyle®.



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