The £78 million (€116 million) deal has given the UK company an 80 per cent holding in GC Hahn. Tate & Lyle first announced in April that it planned to acquire the German firm that specialises in dairy stabiliser systems. Headquartered in Lübeck, GC Hahn also has production operations in the UK, US and Australia, and sales offices in 22 countries. The move is a logical step in Tate & Lyle's strategy to move away from the pure commodities market and into value-added ingredients. In December 2005, the company snapped up Italian natural gum and stabilizer maker Cesalpinia for £34m (€50m) and bought US developer of dairy stabilisers and emulsifiers Continental Custom Ingredients for £40m (€59m). Tate & Lyle subsequently announced that these two purchases were not the end of the story and that it expected to supplement its value-added business through the acquisition of more bolt-on ingredient companies. The company is also spending money on growing its value-added assets and recently announced that it was building a €4m research and development centre in Lille, northern France. The centre - which is expected to be ready for business in September - will concentrate primarily on creating and improving ingredients for health, wellness and nutrition products for the beverage, dairy, bakery and convenience sectors. Tate & Lyle reported a strong full year 2007 and confirmed that continued sales growth was being generated by the food and industrial ingredients businesses, which achieved operating profit growth of 36 per cent on the prior year. Overall the group reported sales from continuing operation of £3.81bn (€5.6bn) for the 12 months ending March 31, up from £3.46bn (€5.09) the previous year. Operating profit was £333m (€490m).