Florida Crystals and Sugar Cane Growers Cooperative of Florida say that their subsidiary, American Sugar Refining, Inc. (ASR), completed the purchase of Tate & Lyle PLC's European sugar operations.

How sweet it is. Tate & Lyle's refineries in London, England and Lisbon, Portugal, will add a total refining capacity of up to six million tons per year to Yonkers, N.Y.-based American Sugar Refining's (ASR). The acquisition also includes a license for use of the distinguished Tate & Lyle brand in connection with the sale of sugar.

"We are very proud of ASR's success, which is the product of our partnership with the Sugar Cane Growers Cooperative," says Alfonso Fanjul, Jr., chairman and CEO of Florida Crystals. "It is proof that working together leads to success."

"It's pretty amazing to think about how a group of small vegetable farmers pooled their resources together almost 50 years ago, built a raw sugar processing plant, and now with the partnership of Florida Crystals have become vertically integrated to become the world's largest sugar refiner. We are pleased with the relationships we have built and the quality brand names and products we produce and offer our customers,” says George H. Wedgworth, president and CEO of Sugar Cane Growers Cooperative.

This is ASR’s third largest transaction with Tate & Lyle. In 2001, the company bought Tate & Lyle North American Sugars, Inc. (Domino Sugar) and its three refineries. In 2007, ASR acquired Tate & Lyle Canada Ltd. (Redpath Sugar), including Canada's largest refinery. The purchase of the European sugar operations is consistent with ASR’s strategic vision for expansion in the sugar refining sector. ASR operates cane sugar refineries and manages the logistics of the related supply chain, and markets recognized retail sugar brands. Tate & Lyle's sugar operations offer ASR a complementary platform for growth and success in the EU markets.

The only producer of certified organic sugar grown and harvested in the United States, Florida Crystals, a Fanjul Corp. company, is located in West Palm Beach, Fla., and is led by Fanjul, Jr., and J. Pepe Fanjul, vice chairman, president and COO. The two companies account for five raw sugar mills and 10 sugar refineries worldwide with an annual output of six million tons of refined sugar.