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Tate & Lyle replaces finance chief with PepsiCo exec

LONDON, June 24 (Reuters) - British sweeteners maker Tate & Lyle on Tuesday said its chief financial officer (CFO), Tim Lodge, would be replaced in August by PepsiCo executive Nick Hampton.

Tate & Lyle's shares are down nearly 16 percent this year after warning that cheap competition from China was denting its sucralose pricing, while a long and harsh U.S. winter hurt demand for soft drinks.

Lodge, who has been CFO since 2008, will serve in his current role until Aug. 31 and will then leave after a short transition period.

Hampton, who has been at PepsiCo for more than 20 years, was most recently the soda and snack company's president of West Europe. That experience was seen as highly relevant, since PepsiCo is a major Tate & Lyle customer.

"We would expect Hampton to bring best-in-class commercial and financial perspectives, honed in a major multinational, plus some highly relevant customer insight," said Jefferies analyst Martin Deboo in a research note, who said the transition seemed natural, given that Lodge had been in the role six years and had spent his whole career at Tate & Lyle.

(Reporting by Martinne Geller; Editing by Mark Potter)