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Tata acquires UK salt firm

A major UK supplier of salt for use in food manufacturing, water softening and de-icing was today sold in a £93 million deal with Indian conglomerate Tata.

British Salt, which produces around half of the UK's pure salt at its facility at Middlewich in Cheshire, will become part of Tata Chemicals' Brunner Mond business, the UK's only soda ash and sodium bicarbonate producer.

The deal - subject to regulatory clearance - comes three years after the private equity arm of Lloyds Banking Group backed management in the acquisition of the British Salt business from its US owner.

Around 125 people are employed at British Salt, which also sells a range of white rock and brown rock salt for de-icing purposes.

Chief executive Bill Thompson said the combination with Northwich-based Brunner Mond provided the firm with a "major opportunity" to achieve further growth in its chosen markets.

The deal means Lloyds has exited seven firms this year worth around £800 million. It has a portfolio of more than 60 companies valued in excess of £2 billion and has invested nearly £250 million this year in 10 companies.

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