Associated British Foods (ABF) has announced that it has reached agreement on the acquisition of sugar importer Billington Food Group, subject to regulatory approval.

ABF said Billington’s is one of Europe’s leading importers in the niche market for traditional unrefined raw cane sugars for the retail and manufacturing markets. It imports the sugars from Mauritius, and then packs and distributes them from its facility in Ipswich. The value of net assets being acquired is £7.7m (US$14.1m) and Billington’s had sales in the year ended 30 April 2003 of £29.4m.

“This acquisition adds a full range of unrefined raw cane sugars to complement our existing range of Silver Spoon brand retail sugars. Billington’s is widely regarded as the leader in this sector of the UK sugar market,” said John Bason, finance director of ABF.