German sugar refiner Nordzucker has taken full control of SugarPartners, a joint venture with Greencore. The company said it had bought Greencore's 50% stake, though no details of the price were given.

Nordzucker will also acquire the Siucra, McKinney and Castle brands. The joint venture was formed after Greencore left the sugar production business in 2006.

Nordzucker said Ireland's entire sugar requirement must now be imported, and this required more logistics and marketing expertise which it could provide.

'Nordzucker is ideally equipped to meet these challenges. Other positive factors all of which also emphasise the opportunity offered by the Irish sugar market, include a growing population, a continuously rising birth rate, as well as a strongly developed food manufacturing and retail market,' it said.