Tate & Lyle has sold its molasses business, continuing its radical strategic shift away from the sugar trade.

Proceeds from the £67m sale, to Northern Irish commodities group W&R Barnett, will be used to pay down the group’s debt. The molasses business had annual sales of £228m in the year to 31 March, generating profits of £13m.

The latest disposal comes after Tate & Lyle earlier this year announced plans to refocus on its ingredients division.

In July the group sold its historic European refining business to American Sugar Refining for £211m.

“I would like to thank our molasses employees for their hard work and commitment over many years and wish them every success in the future,” said Tate & Lyle chief executive Javed Ahmed.

“Our clear priority is to grow the speciality food ingredients business, supported by cash generated from bulk ingredients. This disposal represents another important step as we focus, fix and grow our business.”

Read more
Profits up a fifth for former sugar giant Tate & Lyle (4 November 2010)
Tate & Lyle’s EU business sold for £211m (3 July 2010)