National Starch sold by Akzo for $1.2bn

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The Independent Online

A food innovation business which was formerly part of the chemicals giant ICI was sold yesterday in a deal worth $1.3bn (£880m).

The acquisition of National Starch by the Illinois-based group Corn Products International includes a technical support centre in Manchester. National Starch's product portfolio features many of the fat replacers, thickeners and texturisers used in processed foods. The business was taken over by the Dutch paints and coatings company AkzoNobel as part of its acquisition of the Dulux owner, ICI, in January 2008.

Akzo announced in April that it had received takeover interest in National Starch, which it no longer viewed as a core part of its business. Tate & Lyle had been seen by some analysts as a possible bidder for the operation.

The deal is expected to be completed by the end of the third quarter of 2010, subject to regulatory approvals.