US sugar processor Imperial Sugar has announced it is to close its Sugar Land refinery near Houston, Texas, by the end of the year leading to a loss of 326 jobs.

The company, which has milled or refined sugar in Sugar Land for nearly 160 years, is consolidating refining operations in Gramercy, Louisiana and Savannah, Georgia. Around 100 Sugar Land employees are to continue on in distribution and packaging operations and at the company’s headquarters.

Imperial has also announced that it has agreed to sell its Diamond Crystal Brands subsidiary to Austin, Minnesota-based Homel Foods for US$115m. The deal is expected to be closed by the end of the year, reported the Associated Press.