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Our history

From its inception in November 1935 as Food Investments Limited and its rapid change to Allied Bakeries Limited five weeks later, the business grew dramatically as a broad-based food manufacturing organisation, becoming Associated British Foods Limited in February 1960.

It finally changed to Associated British Foods plc in May 1982 to comply with legal requirements.

Growth has been predominantly through acquisition and has resulted in a global group operating in 47 countries, employing over 113,000 people.

2012

July

July

Acquisition of Elephant Atta, the UK’s leading ethnic flour brand

July

July

Primark opens its first store in Berlin

January

January

AB Vista launches Quantum Blue enzyme

2011

April

April

Ubombo sugar mill expanded in Swaziland

2010

December

December

AB Mauri completed a new yeast plant at Harbin, China

October

October

Twinings open new tea factory in Poland

September

September

Ohly opens yeast extracts plant in China

August

August

The Guadelete refinery in Spain was successfully commissioned

July

July

Capacity of the Maragra sugar factory in Mozambique doubled

May

May

The Wissington glasshouse was expanded to 18 hectares

April

April

A raw sugar refinery installed in Newark

2009

April

April

Acquisition of Azucarera Ebro sugar business in Spain

May

May

Primark opens its first store in Germany

November

November

Disposal of BSO Poland sugar business

December

December

Primark opens its first store in Belgium

2008

December

December

Primark opens its first store in the Netherlands

October

October

Formation of Stratas Foods with Archer Daniels Midland Company

October

October

Formation of AB World Foods

June

June

Merger of Jordans with Ryvita

2007

November

November

British Sugar opens UK’s first bioethanol plant

October

October

October 2007 – Formation of Bo Tian Sugar Company.

May

May

Acquisition of Patak’s

April

April

Primark opens its flagship store in Oxford Street, London

2006

September

September

Acquisition of 51% of Illovo Sugar in Africa

May

May

Primark opens its first store in Spain

2005

July

July

Acquisition of former Littlewoods stores by Primark

2004

July

July

Formation of AB Mauri

June

June

Acquisition of food oils and fat brands of Unilever in Mexico

May

May

Acquisition of Billington’s Sugar

2003

May

May

Ovaltine merges with Twinings

2002

November

November

Acquisition of Ovaltine

September

September

Buy-out of GWF minority shareholders

July

July

Acquisition of Mazola

2000

July

July

Primark opens its 100th store

February

February

AB Enzymes formed

1996

1996

1996

First Chinese Animal Feed JV

1995

1995

1995

British Sugar’s first Chinese joint venture

1994

1994

1994

UK feed business formed

1991

1991

1991

British Sugar acquired

1990

1990

1990

Jacksons of Piccadilly acquired

1987

1987

1987

Weston Research Laboratories (now ATC) formed

1980

1980

1980

Sales exceed £2 billion

1973

1973

1973

Acquisition of Cranfield Brothers millers

1961

1961

1961

Acquisition of AB Hemmings bakeries

1960

1960

1960

Company renamed Associated British Foods

1939

1939

1939

Acquisition of Weston Foods

1935

1935

1935

Allied Bakeries Ltd incorporated