Tate & Lyle

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Tate & Lyle PLC
Traded as LSETATE
Industry Food processing
Founded Merger of Henry Tate & Sons and Abram Lyle & Sons in 1921
Headquarters London, England, United Kingdom
Key people
Sir Peter Gershon, Chairman
Javed Ahmed, CEO
Products Starches
Citric Acid
High Fructose Corn Syrup
Revenue £3,147 million (2014)[1]
£325 million (2014)[1]
£273 million (2014)[1]
Number of employees
5,616 (2010)[2]
Website www.tateandlyle.com

Tate & Lyle plc is a British-based multinational agribusiness. It is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 250 Index. It specialises in manufacturing sugar-based food ingredients, as well as other ingredients, industrial chemicals and animal foods.


The company was formed in 1921 from a merger of two rival sugar refiners, Henry Tate & Sons and Abram Lyle & Sons.[3]

Henry Tate established his business in 1869 in Liverpool, later expanding to Silvertown in the East End of London:[3] he used his industrial fortune to found the Tate Gallery in London in 1897, and endowed it with his own collection of pre-Raphaelite paintings.[4] Abram Lyle, a cooper and shipowner, acquired an interest in sugar refinery in 1865 in Greenock, western Scotland and then at Plaistow Wharf, West Silvertown, London.[3] The two companies had large factories nearby each other — Henry Tate in Silvertown and Abram Lyle at Plaistow Wharf — so prompting the merger. Prior to the merger, which occurred after they had died, the two men were bitter business rivals, although they had never met in person.[5] (The Liverpool plant closed in 1981 and the Greenock plant closed during the 1990s, while the Plaistow Wharf and Silvertown plants were sold to American Sugar Refining in 2010).[6]

In 1949, the Company introduced its "Mr Cube" brand, as part of a marketing campaign to help it fight a proposed nationalization by the Labour government.[3] In 1976 the Company acquired a 33% stake (increased to 63% in 1988) in Amylum, a European starch-based manufacturing business.[3]

In 1988, it acquired a 90% stake in A. E. Staley, a US corn processing business and in 1998 it brought Haarmann & Reimer, a citric acid producer; in 2000 it acquired the remaining minorities of Amylum and A. E. Staley.[3]

In 2004, it established a joint venture with DuPont to manufacture a renewable 1,3-Propanediol that can be used to make Sorona (a substitute for nylon). This was its first major foray into bio-materials.[3]

In 2005, DuPont Tate & Lyle BioProducts was created as a joint venture between DuPont and Tate & Lyle.[7]

In 2006, it acquired Hycail, a small Dutch business, giving the Company intellectual property and a pilot plant to manufacture Polylactic acid (PLA), another bio-plastic.[8] Tate &Lyle has discontinued their PLA activities and closed the Hycail plant in 2008.

In October 2007, five European starch and alcohol plants, previously part of the European starch division knowns as Amylum group, were sold to Syral, a subsidiary of French sugar company Tereos.[9] Syral has since closed the Greenwich plant, which is currently being demolished.

In February 2008, it was announced that Tate & Lyle granulated white cane sugar would be accredited as a Fairtrade product, with all the company's other retail products to follow in 2009.[10]

In April 2009, the United States International Trade Commission affirmed a ruling that Chinese manufacturers can make copycat versions of its Splenda product.[11]

Javed Ahmed became CEO on 1 October 2009, replacing Iain Ferguson.[12] In July 2010 the company announced the sale of its sugar refining business, including rights to use the Tate & Lyle brand name and Lyle's Golden Syrup, to American Sugar Refining for £211 million.[6]

In popular culture[edit]

In 2012, HarperCollins published The Sugar Girls, a work of narrative non-fiction based on the true stories of women who worked at Tate & Lyle's two factories in the East End of London from the 1940s to the 1960s.[13]


The company is organised as follows:[14]


Tate & Lyle's Cambodian supplier, KSL Group, has been accused of confiscating land from Cambodian villagers. 200 Cambodian families have filed a lawsuit against Tate & Lyle in a London court, claiming they were complicit in these actions and asking for compensation for the value of sugar grown on land they allege still belongs to them.[15]

See also[edit]

  • A. E. Staley - US owned subsidiary.
  • Splenda - sucralose, a key product for the group
  • Redpath Sugar, once owned by T&L; sold in 2010 as part of package deal to ASR


  1. ^ a b c "Preliminary Results 2014" (PDF). Tate & Lyle. Retrieved 3 April 2015. 
  2. ^ Tate & Lyle: careers
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Tate & Lyle: History
  4. ^ The River Thames from Hampton Court to the Millennium Dome (1999) ISBN 1860117015
  5. ^ Duncan Barrett and Nuala Calvi. The Sugar Girls. Collins. ISBN 978-0-00-744847-0. 
  6. ^ a b Tate & Lyle sells sugar arm to American Sugar Refining BBC News, 1 July 2010
  7. ^ "DuPont and Tate & Lyle to Open $100 Million Bioproducts Plant". GreenBiz. Retrieved 3 April 2015. 
  8. ^ Tate & Lyle: Industrial ingredients
  9. ^ "Tereos starch subsidiary Syral finalises the acquisition of 5 Tate & Lyle Plants" (PDF). Syral. Retrieved 2010-01-14. 
  10. ^ "Tate & Lyle sugar to be Fairtrade". BBC News. February 23, 2008. Retrieved 2008-02-23. 
  11. ^ Alison Frankel. "Sweet Surrender: Bingham Wins ITC Sugar Substitute Case". Litigation Daily. Retrieved 3 April 2015. 
  12. ^ "Tate & Lyle (LSE: TATE LN): New CEO Takes Helm," Jefferies International Ltd., 2 October 2009
  13. ^ Matt Nicholls (2011-02-23). "Sweet! Tate & Lyle lives celebrated". Newham Recorder. 
  14. ^ Tate & Lyle: Our Structure
  15. ^ "Tate & Lyle sugar supplier accused over child labour". Guardian. 9 July 2013. Retrieved 30 July 2015. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]