David Prosser: A much sweeter deal than Cadbury
Friday 02 July 2010
Outlook It is not difficult to see why American Sugar Refining, the US company that is buying up Tate & Lyle's sugar-refining business, moved so quickly yesterday to promise that the transaction would not lead to job losses at the unit's east London facilities. No doubt it wanted to reassure the 550 Tate & Lyle staff who will transfer it to its employment, but more importantly it will have been desperate to ensure that this deal is not portrayed as a rerun of the Kraft versus Cadbury affair.
The parallels are striking. An American company is buying an iconic British brand with a rich history and some strong philanthropic associations. It is just the sort of deal those who opposed the Cadbury takeover should be getting hot under the collar about all over again, even if this is a transaction that Tate & Lyle itself wants, rather than a hostile takeover.
ASR's commitment on jobs notwithstanding – and the unions will need to hold them to account for it – this is a deal that will raise a few eyebrows. Golden Syrup, officially the world's oldest brand, will be lost from British ownership, for goodness' sake.
Still, just to give the eyebrows a break, it's worth making the point that Tate & Lyle's decision to sell this business may actually be the key to ensuring it survives as an independent British company with real growth prospects. Its decision to focus on the higher-margin speciality food market could prove to be the natural evolution that all companies must go through unless they want to share the fate of the dinosaurs.
Think not of the sale as losing one of this country's favourite sons, but as gaining a stronger one, you might say. And anyway, there's no reason to think the assets being sold won't prosper better under the ownership of a company that is devoted to the refinery business, and that has been looking for a European presence to add to its global footprint for some time.
- 1 Sofyen Belamouadden murder: The inside story of a crime that horrified Britain
- 2 How to turn off/stop 'seen by' on Facebook: Disable it to make your chats seem less passive aggressive
- 3 Company breaks open Apple Watch to discover what it says is 'planned obsolescence'
- 4 'We're not heroes, just tourists': Swedish police officers on holiday stop vicious assault on New York subway
- 5 Buckingham Palace guard who attacked passers-by in 'most most violent piece of CCTV footage' police officer had seen walks free
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Migrant boat disaster: Ukip candidate mocks victims in sickening Twitter post
Nigel Farage wants the BBC to stop making programmes like Doctor Who, Strictly Come Dancing, and Top Gear
Global warming: Scientists say temperatures could rise by 6C by 2100 and call for action ahead of UN meeting in Paris
General Election 2015: Britain would become a 'communist dictatorship' under Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon, claims wife of Michael Gove
Rupert Murdoch berated Sun journalists for not doing enough to attack Ed Miliband and stop him winning the general election
iJobs Money & Business
£50000 - £55000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Business Analyst - Financial Service...
£18000 - £23000 per annum + OTE £45K: SThree: At SThree, we like to be differe...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + competitive: SThree: Did you know? SThree is the o...
£22000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join ...