Tate & Lyle to build innovation center

by Jeff Gelski
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LONDON – Tate & Lyle, P.L.C. plans to establish a new commercial and food innovation center in Chicago that will become the global headquarters of the company’s Innovation and Commercial Development group and the regional headquarters for the Specialty Food Ingredients business in North America. The company’s Bulk Ingredients global business unit and support staff will be located in the center.

All three groups are in Decatur, Ill., now and will relocate to Chicago. About 160 people will work in the Chicago office.

London-based Tate & Lyle expects the center to become operational by the end of 2011. Tate & Lyle will lease the 110,000-square-foot, three-story building in the Hoffman Estates area of Chicago. The center will feature laboratories, a demonstration kitchen, and sensory testing, analytical and pilot plant facilities.

The company expects to recognize exceptional costs of up to $32 million in connection with relocation and restructuring associated with the initiative and capital expenditure of $26 million in relation to the fit-out of the new center. Both costs should be incurred largely in the fiscal year ending March 31, 2012.

“Meeting our customers’ product development and innovation needs is at the very heart of our business,” said Javed Ahmed, chief executive of Tate & Lyle. “The new commercial and food innovation center in Chicago will enable our scientists, marketing, sales and technical experts to collaborate more closely with our customers and to respond rapidly to their needs for innovative food ingredients and solutions.

“Tate & Lyle’s clear priority is to grow its Specialty Food Ingredients business, supported by cash generated from Bulk Ingredients. This investment represents another important step in positioning Tate & Lyle to deliver on its strategic objective as we focus, fix and grow our business.”

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