Japanese buyer gets the sweet tooth for Splenda

It is thought that if Ajinomoto is unable to buy the whole of the sucralose business from Tate & Lyle it could still be interested in the consumer rights to the brand.

US conglomerate Johnson & Johnson owns the consumer rights to Splenda, which is known for its yellow coloured sachets found in cafes and restaurants.

In December, Johnson & Johnson hired Goldman Sachs to explore a separate sale of its Splenda brand, which has annual revenues of around $300m. (£XXm)

In February Tate & Lyle issued its second profit warning for the year after slashing sucralose prices in order to compete with cheaper Chinese producers.

Its performance was also hit by a severe winter in the US which disrupted the production of its corn syrup, meaning it could not meet demand.

The group’s troubles were then exarcebated by the closure of its factory in Singapore after two workers died in an accident.

In 2010 the £2.9bn company, which once refined half the sugar Britain consumed, agreed the sale of its 150-year-old UK sugar and golden syrup business to American Sugar Refining for £211m. The sale included the Golden Syrup factory in London.

Splenda and its artificial sweetner rivals have been hit by the rising popularity of natural sweetners such as stevia.

Drinks giant Coca-Cola launched Coke Life with the natural sweetener last year. Analysts believe that the stevia market is expected to account for around 15pc of the overall sweetner market by 2010 and be worth around $560m.

Taste Test: does Coca Cola Life taste better?

Ajinomoto has recently launched a rebranding of aspartame, calling it AminoSweet, in the wake of a backlash by health campaigners.

Tate & Lyle declined to comment while Johnson & Johnson and Ajinomoto did not return calls for comment.

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Japanese buyer gets the sweet tooth for Splenda
Japanese Test – Yahoo News Search Results
Japanese Test – Yahoo News Search Results

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