Texas-based refined sugar processor Imperial Sugar has completed the sale of its 50% stake in Wholesome Sweeteners to an affiliate of Arlon, a private investment group focused on food and agriculture, for $60.4m.

The other joint venture partner in Wholesome Sweeteners before the sale of the stake was England-based Edward Billington and Son.

Wholesome Sweeteners offers organic and fair trade certified sweeteners in North America.

Imperial said that the proceeds will be used to lower debts under its revolving credit line and expects a gain of about $38m related to the sale in the third-quarter of 2012. Outstanding borrowings under the credit agreement were $7.8m after receipt of the sales proceeds.

In January, the company said that its fourth-quarter loss in last fiscal year had increased and that it plans to sell assets as rising prices of sugar and surging losses put pressure on its financial resources.

Imperial Sugar Company, founded in 2001, is one of the major processors and marketers of refined sugar in the US to food manufacturers, retail grocers and foodservice distributors.

With packaging and refining facilities across the US, the company markets products nationally under the Imperial, Dixie Crystals, and Holly brands.

Meanwhile, the company has received a grant from the US Department of Homeland Security that will allow the company to complete infrastructure initiatives to enhance security at its Port Wentworth, Georgia facility.

The funding, which is routed through the Department of Homeland Security’s Port Security Grant Program, was approved last year and is intended to support increased port-wide risk management.