The news means uncertainty for hundreds of workers
It is one of the most familiar sights in kitchen cupboards across the world.
Yet Lyle's Golden Syrup actually began life as a by-product from refining sugar cane.
However, Abram Lyle soon realised that the treacly substance could be turned into a delicious preserve and sweetener for cooking - and now the syrup, which was canned for the first time at Plaistow Wharf in London's Docklands, has been a world leader for 127 years.
Despite being more than a century old, not much has changed over the years, including the contents, the packaging and branding of Lyle's Golden Syrup.
However, with the news it is selling its sugar business to America Sugar Refining for £211m in cash means, like any company in an economic downturn, it is having to be more focused.
Lyle's Golden Syrup was first canned at Plaistow Wharf in 1885
The group said the proceeds of the deal would be used to reduce its net debt levels.
Tate & Lyle's sugar business consists of refineries in the UK and Portugal, as well as the Golden Syrup factory in London.
The company is famous in the UK for its sugar products but it is now set to concentrate on its industrial food ingredients division, which produces items used in processed foods such as soups and sauces.
The Tate & Lyle name will continue to be associated with sugar as the American firm will use the brand on the sugar products it sells.
Lyle's Golden Syrup
Lyle's Golden Syrup is older than the first petrol motorcar (1885), Coca-Cola (1886), Marmite (1902), and Cadbury's Dairy Milk (1905).
Gymnasts sometimes use the syrup instead of talc for better grip
Make-up artists have been known to use the syrup mixed with red food dye to create fake blood for films
The syrup's trademark, "out of the strong came forth sweetness" and image of a dead lion and bees, is taken from the Bible, influenced by Abram Lyle's strong religious beliefs.
In the Old Testament, Samson killed an attacking lion, and later noticed a swarm of bees had formed honey in the carcass.
He later turned this into a riddle: "Out of the eater came forth meat and out of the strong came forth sweetness".
The syrup started when Abram Lyle, a Scottish businessman, sent his five sons from Greenock to London to build a sugar refinery. The refinery at Plaistow Wharf ceased trading in sugar in 1967 but continued producing the syrup.
In 1921, Mr Lyle merged his company Abram Lyle & Sons with Henry Tate & Sons to become Tate & Lyle, which is now the only cane sugar refiner in the UK.
Workers canning Lyle's Golden Syrup at Plaistow Wharf
More than a century later the Plaistow Wharf factory remains the sole producer of the product under Tate & Lyle, producing about one million tins of syrup a month.
Although founded in the UK, Tate & Lyle's roots can be traced back to several companies established in the middle of the 19th century focused on sugars in Europe and corn milling in the US and Europe.
About 42 of Tate & Lyle's 1,000 employees are based at the Plaistow factory. The remainder are based at the company's nearby Thames Refinery.
Tate & Lyle has a long history of supporting the communities in which it operates in Europe, the Americas, and South East Asia, which all began with the philanthropic approach of its co-founders.
The company's charitable spend allocations are the areas of education, the environment, health and the arts.
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