Tate & Lyle announces disposal of molasses business

Tate & Lyle has announced the sale of its molasses business, meaning the multinational agribusiness will cut all ties with Liverpool.

The £67 million sale of the business - to W&R Barnett, the Northern-Ireland based grain trader - will go some way towards reducing Tate & Lyle's net debt.

The molasses arm was the final Tate & Lyle operation to have a base in Merseyside, which was where the business first began in 1859.

Henry Tate, a Liverpool shop owner, took his first foray into sugar cane refining in 1859 and went on to set up Henry Tate & Sons and the Liverpool Refinery on Love Lane in 1872. The refinery shut its doors in 1972, leading to the loss of more than 1,500 jobs.

W & R Barnett's new acquisition will see all 50 employees who are currently based at Regent Road in Bootle, and North Alfred Dock in Birkenhead, transfer over.

Chief Executive of Tate & Lyle, Javed Ahmed, said, "Tate & Lyle's clear priority is to grow its 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."

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