Sugar, starches and sweeteners In April, British ingredient giant Tate & Lyle completed the sale of its Canadian sugar refining business Redpath to America Sugar Refining for £131m (C$298m, US$178m). The firm said it will use this amount to reduce group debt, as it moves further away from the commodity end of the business. Six month later, Tate & Lyle announced a plan to make its final exit from the sugar industry in the Americas with a plan to sell its 49 per cent stake in the Mexican business Grupo Industrial Azucarero de Occident for US$93m (£46m, €66.5m). In August Tate & Lyle received approval from the European Union for the sale of part of its European starch ingredients business to Syral for €310m. The decision to divest of the UK, Belgium, France, Spain and Italy operations of its Food and Industrial Ingredients, Europe division (TALFIIE) was taken in a bid by the British firm to more secure in volatile markets and in context of the new European sugar regime. The deal excludes Tate and Lyle's operations in Koog, The Netherlands - its main corn-based starch production site in Western Europe - Morocco, and its Eaststarch joint venture (Hungary, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Romania and Turkey). In April Royal Cosun received long-awaited approval for its acquisition of CSM Suiker - first announced in February 2006. CSM felt the division could not compete in the industry once EU sugar regulations came into force. The sale, in the region of €202m, was expected to be completed in Q4. In October Israeli fructose supplier Galam Group will take a majority share in the Spanish company Atomer SL, building on the market demand for natural sweeteners with a low Glycemic Index and calorie count. The synergy is aimed at developing more natural sweeteners for use in dairy, beverages and bakery products and extending the market base of the two companies. Flavours and seasonings In March, Givaudan finally signed on the line to acquire Quest International. The CHF 2.8bn (c €1.7bn) deal was first announced in November 2006, and Givaudan is expecting it improve the group's position in all strategic segments of the fragrance and flavour industry. The most active acquire of the year in the flavours sector - and indeed in the flavours sector as a whole - was Frutarom. It made its first buy of the year in March - UK flavours firm Belmay for US$17.1m (c €12.8m). This was followed less than a month later with the acquisition of Jupiter - another UK flavour firm - for US$2.8m (€2m). In June, it signed an agreement to acquire fellow Israeli firm Raychan Food Industries for a consideration of US$1.05m, plus assumption of debt (minus working capital) of $1.23m. Next up, in July, it bought US ingredients maker Abaco for $4mn (€2.9mn) and also assumed its debt of $1.1mn (€0.8mn). In the same month Frutarom finalised its purchase of Adumim, also for $4mn (€2.9mn), to help boost its development and production of medicinal plant extracts, vitamins and minerals for foods. In October it announced an agreement to acquire German-based Gewurzmuller Group for $67m (€47m) to further expand in the global market for flavours and functional ingredients. Finally, in November, Frutarom snapped up Israeli's RAD Natural Technologies. RAD specialises in the research, development, production and sale of anti-oxidant plant extracts, and adds to Frutarom's growing weight in the taste and health arena. Firmenich's acquisition of Daniso's flavours division for DKK 3.36 bn (€0.45bn) was completed in July. For the new owner this brings reinforced product offering and market coverage, especially in vanilla, citrus and dairy, flavours, natural flavours and fragrances, and bases for ice cream and beverages. Danisco said the sale was part of its re-focus on value-added ingredients and biotechnology. However the two firms entered into a partnership that will allow the Danish company to keep supplying certain products, and to work together on taste and texture. Symrise acquired Unilever's UK non-branded food ingredients business in September, to extend its reach further into dry seasonings for the chilled foods, culinary and snack food sectors. Not only does the deal complement Symrise's existing customer base, but it also gives access to new technologies and development resources which Heinrich Schaper, president, flavour and nutrition, Europe, Africa and Middle East, said "should see the business accelerate its growth". In June Chr Hansen sold its paprika business activities and production facilities in Spain and India to allow it to focus on value-added activities. The business, included paprika and spice oleoresin, rosemary extract, paprika powder, turmeric, bixin and chlorophyll products, was sold for undisclosed sums - the Indian part to its co-owner A&P Group and the Spanish part through a management buyout to be run as a new business known as Ingredientes Naturales Seleccionados. The same month Chr Hansen announced plans to divest its coatings and excipients business in the US order to focus on core activities in cultures, enzymes, natural colours and flavours. This sale, to pharmaceutical ingredient player Colocon for an undisclosed amount, was completed in September. Enzymes In February, Univar's Czech subsidiary acquired the enzymes distribution business of Ekozym, a specialised business based on the distribution of Novozymes' products. In July Novozymes entered into a definitive agreement to acquire the enzyme business of Biocon, India, to increase its presence in the Indian market and in wine and juice enzymes in particular. The buy was for a total consideration in Indian rupees equivalent to US$115m (€83.4m). The deal was completed in November. Danisco agreed to acquire South African bakery enzymes company Innovative Ingredients in July, in an effort to build local knowledge and strengthen its position in a promising market. Bakery CSM acquired ADM's North American bakery ingredients division Arkady in January, in a move designed to increase the company's global reach. The $55m acquisition included bakery enhancer, mix, enrichment and monoglyceride businesses. This news followed just days after CSM announced the sale of the viennoiserie part of its French specialty bread maker Délices de la Tour to Panavi, after a disappointing performance. Then, in June, CSM announced that the sale of the French frozen bread part of the business to Neuhauser for €7.7m. In April Barentz Europe moved to strengthen its position bakery ingredients with the acquisition of family-run MDB Twello. This was expected to boost distribution for the latter's ingredients and may thus introduce more manufacturers to lupin as an alternative to soy. Brenntag bought Italy's Natural World in July, increasing its presence in Europe and in the bakery and dairy ingredients markets. Dairy In June Tate & Lyle completed its majority stake acquisition of the German family-run specialty ingredients firm GC Hahn, which specialises in stabiliser systems for dairy and other categories. The £78 million (€116 million) deal has given the UK company a 80 per cent holding in GC Hahn. In November Campina has announced its intention to acquire Satro from Germany's Humana Milchunion, to boost growth in value-added ingredients and make it stronger in the face of price issues. The value of the planned acquisition has not been revealed, but if the necessary regulatory approval is received Satro will be folded into Campina's DMV International from January 1 2008. Soy In May it was announced that a group of investors acquired a 51 per cent stake in the share capital of Solbar, which was expected to improve the Israeli soy protein company's financial position and balance sheet.