UK sugar and sweetener firm Tate & Lyle has announced that it has bought the sucralose manufacturing assets of McNeil Nutritionals, a division of Johnson & Johnson, for US$134m.

Under the new agreement, Tate & Lyle will become the sole manufacturer and will be responsible for the worldwide ingredient sales of Splenda sucralose to food and beverage manufacturers. McNeil Nutritionals will retain ownership of the Splenda brand and have commercial responsibility for the worldwide Splenda brand retail and foodservice business. Tate & Lyle will supply McNeil Nutritionals sucralose on an exclusive basis.

McNeil Nutritionals is to transfer to Tate & Lyle its sucralose manufacturing plant in Alabama and other assets of the ingredients business. The net book value of the assets being acquired by Tate & Lyle at 28 December 2003 was $181m.

“Growing the contribution from value added and branded products is a key part of our strategy and acquiring the sucralose ingredients business is another significant step towards achieving this goal,” said Iain Ferguson, chief executive of Tate & Lyle.