Tate & Lyle plc is a British-based multinational agribusiness. It was originally a sugar refining business, but from the 1970s began to diversify, eventually divesting its sugar business in 2012. It specialises in using innovative technology to turn raw materials like corn, tapioca and oats into ingredients that add taste, texture, nutrients and increased functionality to food and beverages. It is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 250 Index.
|Tate & Lyle PLC|
|Traded as||LSE: TATE|
|Founded||Merger of Henry Tate & Sons and Abram Lyle & Sons in 1921|
|Headquarters||Newham, London, England|
Gerry Murphy, Chairman|
Nick Hampton, CEO
High fructose corn syrup
|Revenue||£2,753 million (2017)|
|£233 million (2017)|
|£256 million (2017)|
Number of employees
Henry Tate established his business in 1869 in Liverpool, later expanding to Silvertown in the East End of London: 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.
Abram Lyle, a cooper and shipowner, acquired an interest in a sugar refinery in 1865 in Greenock and then at Plaistow Wharf, West Silvertown, London. 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. In 1949, the Company introduced its "Mr Cube" brand, as part of a marketing campaign to help it fight a proposed nationalisation by the Labour government.
From 1973, British membership of the European Economic Community threatened Tate & Lyle's core business, with quotas imposed from Brussels favouring domestic sugar beet producers over imported cane refiners such as Tate & Lyle. As a result, under the leadership of Saxon Tate (a direct descendent of Henry Tate), the company began to diversify into related fields of commodity trading, transport and engineering, and in 1976, it acquired competing cane sugar refiner Manbré & Garton.
In 1976, the Company acquired a 33% stake (increased to 63% in 1988) in Amylum, a European starch-based manufacturing business. The Liverpool sugar plant closed in 1981 and the Greenock plant closed in 1997. In 1988, Tate & Lyle acquired a 90% stake in A. E. Staley, a US corn processing business. In 1998 it brought Haarmann & Reimer, a citric acid producer. In 2000 it acquired the remaining minorities of Amylum and A. E. Staley.
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. In 2005, DuPont Tate & Lyle BioProducts was created as a joint venture between DuPont and Tate & Lyle. 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. 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. Syral closed its Greenwich Peninsula plant in London in September 2009, and it was subsequently demolished.
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. The sale included the Plaistow Wharf and Silvertown plants.
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.
The company is organised as follows: