Tate & Lyle hurt by rumours of hedge fund share sale

Financial Times – The London market’s new year bounce continued into a fifth session, but Tate & Lyle missed the trend.

Tate lost 8.5 per cent to 386¼p amid speculation that Harbinger, its second-biggest shareholder, might have to sell to meet redemptions.

The US hedge fund run by Philip Falcone cut its holding from 19 per cent to 13.9 per cent through December.

Tate shares were also hit by concerns that the sweetener industry had failed to push through price rises. Supply contracts for 2009 have been fixed at 1-2 cents above last year’s levels, but below the 3½-cent increase requested, according to a trade press report.

Tate shares rallied 5.5 per cent last week, helped by talk of a Russian investor looking to buy a 10 per cent stake but had struggled to find a broker willing to take the trade.

The FTSE 100 closed up 0.4 per cent, rising 17.85 points to a two-month high of 4579.64. Activity remained at holiday levels, however, with just over 840m blue-chip shares changing hands.

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