Sugar and sweetener producer Tate & Lyle PLC today (Monday) announced an investment of up to £25m (US$47.4m) over a five-year period to set up a wholly-owned venture fund, Tate & Lyle Ventures.

The new venture fund will invest in start-ups and expansion-stage companies that support Tate & Lyle's strategic growth focus to deliver next-generation food and industrial ingredients, the company said. 

"Tate & Lyle Ventures is a natural next step for Tate & Lyle," said Mark Robinson, group planning and business development director, Tate & Lyle. "Tate & Lyle Ventures will be an important vehicle for the Group to continue to invest in innovative products and new technologies. It will complement our internal research capability, which has an excellent track record in new product development, and allow us to stay even closer to external developments in our industry.

"We will leverage our global business knowledge and expertise, seeking to add more than money to the businesses in which we invest," he said. "By setting up Tate & Lyle Ventures we are investing in growth, supporting innovation in high-specification ingredients and ultimately delivering more choice to our customers."