London / UK. (tl) Tate + Lyle PLC, a leading global provider of speciality food ingredients and solutions, announces that it has signed an agreement with Xuzhou Yitong Food Industry Company Limited to form a Sino-Foreign Joint Venture (Tate + Lyle Howbetter) through the acquisition of a 51 percent equity interest in Jiangsu Howbetter Food Company Limited, a leading Food Systems business in the People´s Republic of China.
Under the terms of the agreement, Tate + Lyle will acquire 22 percent of its equity interest from Yitong and the balance of 29 percent from S.B. International, a wholly-owned subsidiary of a Europe-based global food business (which has been a shareholder in Howbetter since 2009). Tate + Lyle also has an option to acquire Yitong´s remaining 49 percent equity interest in Howbetter at a later stage. The transaction is subject to governmental approval which is expected in the autumn.
Howbetter provides stabilizer systems and ingredient blends for customers across China mainly in the dairy and beverage categories. It operates from a blending facility in Suqian and has application laboratories in the nearby city of Xuzhou, both in Jiangsu Province. Howbetter was one of the first domestic food blending businesses in China to be awarded a license to operate under new regulations put in place in 2010.
Olivier Rigaud, President, Speciality Food Ingredients for Tate + Lyle said: «The combination of Tate + Lyle´s global blending capabilities and recipe know-how with Howbetter´s strong local expertise and infrastructure provides us with an excellent platform on which to accelerate the growth of our Food Systems business in China».
Feng Guang, Chairman, Yitong and General Manager, Howbetter (who will also be General Manager of Tate + Lyle Howbetter) said: «Tate + Lyle and Howbetter are two highly complementary businesses with the same absolute focus on quality and customer service. Together, we will be able to offer our customers in China a significantly enhanced range of products and technical expertise».