WEST PALM BEACH, FLA. — ASR Group said it has acquired 50% ownership of Europe’s second-largest cane sugar refinery in southern Italy and an equal share in the Italian company that markets sugar from the refinery.

ASR Group bought ED&F Man’s 50% share of SFIR Raffineria di Brindisi S.p.A., as well as 50% of the sales company Euro SFIR Italia S.p.A., which sells the refinery’s output in Italy. The facility has an annual production capacity of 450,000 tonnes of sugar and is the newest cane refinery in the European Union having been built in 2010, ASR Group said.

“Our investment in the Brindisi refinery and its sales and marketing company is a further sign of our commitment to our European customers,” said Luis Fernandez, co-president of ASR Group. The acquisition allows ASR Group to operate in the European Union’s three key deficit sugar markets, the company said.

“We are enthusiastic about the partnership we are forging with SFIR,” said Antonio Contreras, co-president of ASR Group.

ASR Group is the world’s largest cane sugar refining and marketing company with a full line of retail and industrial sweetener products, including Domino, C&H, Florida Crystals and Redpath in North America, Tate & Lyle and Lyle’s in the United Kingdom and Sidul and Sores in Portugal. It owns and operates six refineries in North America (four in the United States and one each in Canada and Mexico), as well as refineries in London (with 1 million tonnes annual capacity) and in Portugal. ASR Group is owned by Florida Crystals Corp. and Sugar Cane Growers Cooperative of Florida.