Former ICI food firm sold for £877m

A US food company that used to be part of chemicals giant ICI has been sold in a $1.3bn (£877m) deal.

National Starch – which makes many of the fat replacers and thickeners used in processed foods – is being bought by Illinois-based Corn Products.

Dutch firm AkzoNobel bought the company as part of its acquisition of ICI two years. The business includes a support centre in Manchester.

It had sales of $1.2bn in 2009 with a staff of 2,250 in 11 plants in eight countries.

Corn Products said its purchase gave it access to new markets such as Europe, as well as getting greater scale in markets where it already operates.

AkzoNobel said the deal would strengthen its balance sheet and help it to fund "selected acquisitions".