U.S. Sugar moves forward with Imperial Sugar acquisition following federal court ruling

U.S. Sugar is moving forward with plans to fully integrate its business with Imperial Sugar after a federal court in Delaware denied the Justice Department’s challenge to the acquisition.

“The people of U.S. Sugar are pleased that the court’s favorable ruling will allow our acquisition of Imperial Sugar, including the Savannah Refinery,” said U.S. Sugar President and CEO Robert H. Buker, Jr. “As an employee and charity-owned company, this acquisition will be good for our current and future employees. We look forward to proceeding as planned with this acquisition, which will enable us to increase our sugar production, enhance the local Georgia economy and benefit our employees and customers across the country.”

The closing on the acquisition comes as good news to Savannah area business leaders.

“The Savannah Refinery and our City have long been intertwined and we look forward to U.S. Sugar officially becoming a part of our community,” said Savannah Area Chamber of Commerce CEO Bill Hubbard. “We know that U.S. Sugar has a reputation for being a good corporate citizen, treating its employees well, and giving back to the communities it serves.”

Imperial Sugar, previously Savannah Sugar, is, like U.S. Sugar, a family-owned American company.

“By combining our collective strengths, talents and locations — we now become a truly great American sugar company that will better serve all our people, our communities, and our customers,” Buker said.

Buker added that U.S. Sugar intends to invest in upgrading Imperial’s Savannah Refinery and operations to reflect the technology and efficiency deployed at its Clewiston, Florida Refinery. The company plans to retain current employees at Imperial Sugar.

“We are excited about the opportunity to re-establish strong ties with both the people of Imperial and the community of Savannah,” Buker added. “For decades, there was a Clewiston to Savannah business connection and now both companies will be part of the same U.S. Sugar family.”

Prior to building its Clewiston refinery in 1998, U.S. Sugar for decades sold and shipped its raw cane sugar to the Savannah refinery it is now acquiring.

U.S. Sugar sustainably farms more than 230,000 acres of sugarcane in South Florida and owns and operates a short-line railroad, the South Central Florida Express, that facilitates sugar cargo shipping.

The presiding federal court in Delaware ruled against the Department of Justice in its challenge to U.S. Sugar’s planned acquisition of Imperial Sugar. U.S. Sugar attorneys successfully defended claims that the purchase would not hamper competition nor raise prices for customers.

U.S. Sugar is a recognized leader in farming and food production, owned primarily by its employees and charities set up by founder Charles Stewart Mott. The company farms more than 240,000 acres of the most productive farmland in the United States. Its consolidated, automated milling and refining facility in Clewiston is the world’s largest vertically integrated sugar cane milling and refining operation. It is capable of processing 42,000 tons of sugarcane per day and producing approximately 850,000 tons of refined sugar per year.

The company also grows citrus, sweet corn, green beans and other fresh produce.

Imperial Sugar is one of the oldest refined sugar processors and marketers in the United States to food manufacturers, retail grocers and foodservice distributors.

The cane sugar used in Imperial’s product is 100% natural, non-GMO, OU Kosher certified and gluten-free.




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