This website is a history of Tate and Lyle. Henry Tate set up his business in 1869 in Liverpool, which then expanded to Silvertown in the East End of the capital. He used his wealth to found the Tate Gallery in 1897, and filled it with his collection of pre-Raphaelite pictures. Abram Lyle, a cooper and shipowner, gained an interest in sugar refinery in 1865 in western Scotland and subsequently at Plaistow Wharf in London.
The two companies had considerable factories nearby each other — Henry Tate in Silvertown and Abram Lyle at Plaistow Wharf — which prompted the merger. Before this, the two men were business rivals, though they had never met personally. The Liverpool factory shut down in 1981 and the Greenock plant followed suit in the 1990s.
In 1949, Tate and Lyle introduced its "Mr Cube" brand, as part of a campaign to enable it to fight a proposed nationalization by the government. In the seventies the Company gained a 33% stake (increased to 63% in the late eighties) in Amylum, a European manufacturing business.
In the late eighties, it gained a 90% stake in A. E. Staley, an American corn-processing business and in the late nineties it brought Haarmann & Reimer, a citric acid producer. In 2000 it gained the remaining minorities of Amylum and A. E. Staley.
In 2004, the company set up a joint venture with DuPont to make a renewable 1,3-Propanediol that can be used to make Sorona (a substitute for nylon). This was its first substantial attempt at bio-materials.
DuPont Tate & Lyle BioProducts was set up as a joint venture between DuPont and Tate & Lyle.
In 2006, it acquired Hycail, a small business from the Netherlands, giving the Company intellectual property and a pilot plant to create Polylactic acid (PLA), another bio-plastic. Tate &Lyle has ended their PLA activities and shut down the Hycail plant.