Tate & Lyle was bought this week by American Sugar Refining. Donna Werbner takes a look at other iconic British brands that no longer have the right to call themselves 'British'.
If you are reading this while enjoying a Kitkat and a cup of Tetley’s tea with a teaspoon of Tate & Lyle sugar in a Wedgwood teacup that you bought from Harrods, you might think you are doing something quintessentially British.
You’d be wrong.
The fact is, Kitkat is owned by the Swiss company Nestle, Tetley’s tea is owned by India’s Tata Group, Wedgwood was sold to an American private equity firm last year, Harrods was bought by the State of Qatar for £1.5bn in May, and Tate & Lyle was sold this week to American Sugar Refining for £211m.
Here, we take a look at some of the other great British brands who can no longer call the Queen their own:
Established in Nottingham in 1849 by John Boot, Boots was first sold to a foreign company in 1920 when Jesse Boot flogged it to the American United Drug Company. Part of Alliance Boots since 2006, it is now owned the Italian tycoon Stefano Pessina and the American private equity firm KKR.
2) Rolls Royce cars
Charles Rolls and Henry Royce started manufacturing cars in Derby in 1906, selling cars that are worth £71,100 today for just £890. In 1973, Rolls Royce Motors was bought by Sheffield engineering firm Vickers and 1998, it was sold to German company BMW.
John Cadbury began producing and selling tea, coffee and drinking chocolate in Birmingham in 1824, and in 1854 he and his brother received the Royal Warrant as manufacturers of chocolate and cocoa to Queen Victoria. Cadbury merged with drinks company Schweppes in 1960 and was bought by America firm Kraft this year for £11.5bn.
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