Sector News

KPS to snap up Tate & Lyle’s corn business in US$350 million deal

May 26, 2024
Consumer Packaged Goods

US-based investor KPS Capital Partners is set to acquire Tate & Lyle’s joint venture Primient, which formulates plant-based ingredients, for US$350 million. The move will complete KPS’ remaining 49.7% ownership of the company to propel Primient’s corn business by modernizing operations, supporting growth initiatives and sustainability practices.

This is KPS’ second investment in Primient, after it gained a “controlling interest” in the company in 2022 and entered into long-term agreements to provide “security of supply” to both Primient and Tate & Lyle’s retained businesses.

“Over the past two years, we have worked extensively with KPS to develop and execute our modernization and growth strategy to empower Primient to meet customer needs today and in the future,” says Jim Stutelberg, CEO of Primient.

“With strong KPS support, we are executing on more than US$700 million in capital investments over the next five years to ensure the highest quality and most reliable production in the industry for decades to come.”

Sustainable corn production
Primient is Tate & Lyle’s primary products business in North America and Latin America and manufactures corn-derived products for use in carbonated beverages, confectionery products, packaging applications and animal feed.

Primient aims to explore new opportunities to serve the bioeconomy to advance its sustainable corn products operations, notes Stutelberg.

“In addition to the investments, Primient continues to set itself apart in the corn wet milling industry as the only corn wet miller to completely phase out coal, having transitioned all facilities to more sustainable energy sources and enabling Primient to achieve its ambitious sustainability commitments.”

Earlier this year, the US-based plant-based food producer committed to a US$700 million investment across the company’s operational footprint in its corn milling business. The move aims to advance the company’s transition to more sustainable energy sources across all facilities.

Primient currently employs approximately 1,800 people across six manufacturing facilities in the US and Brazil.

Business moves
Tate & Lyle is continuously expanding its businesses across the world with new production facilities and marketing efforts.

Earlier this month, the company unveiled a new capacity at its facility in Slovakia, for non-GMO Promitor soluble fibers. The site represents a €25 million (US$27.07 million) investment and is expected to significantly increase Tate & Lyle’s fiber capacity to meet European consumer demands.

The firm also expanded its sweetener portfolio by adding Tasteva Sol Stevia Sweetener last year. The move enhanced the company’s ability to help customers solve stevia solubility issues in F&B amid the rising demand for healthier and tastier sugar- and calorie-reduced products.

Notably, the company recently revamped its brand imagery of a dead lion laying on the ground while swarmed by bees, displayed on packaging for its Lyle’s Golden Syrup for over 140 years and replaced it with a happy lion’s face and a single bee, which received mixed reactions from consumers.

By Insha Naureen


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