Tate & Lyle Ventures buys £2m stake in food safety company

UK sugar group Tate & Lyle’s corporate venture fund has made its first investment since its 2006 launch with a £2 million stake in a food safety company.

Tate & Lyle Ventures, the UK sugar company’s corporate venture fund, has bought a minority stake for in food safety diagnostics company Lumora, a spin-out from Cambridge University, for £2 million (€3 million; $4 million), according to a spokesman.

Lumora:food safety testing

Tate & Lyle Ventures did not disclose the size of its stake but a spokesman told PrivateEquityOnline that the fund targets stakes of 20 to 50 percent.  Other shareholders in Lumora include the University of Cambridge and founders Jim Murray and Laurence Tisi.

A spokesman said Lumora is an attractive investment because its bacteria and virus tests are faster and cheaper than those of its competitors.

The fund, which a spokesman said has looked at 55 investments, was launched in July 2006 with a £23 million commitment from Tate & Lyle. 

The fund targets food technology and safety business as well as bio-materials investments in the US and western Europe.