Irish dairy exporter to buy Cheshire cheesemaker

By Matt Atherton contact

- Last updated on GMT

FJ Need would be sold to Irish dairy exporter Ornua
FJ Need would be sold to Irish dairy exporter Ornua
Irish dairy exporter Ornua has agreed to buy Cheshire-based cheese firm FJ Need (Foods) for an undisclosed fee.

The takeover was central to Ornua’s plan to strengthen its key businesses in the UK, Germany, and North America. Ornua – which owns the cheese brand Pilgrim’s Choice – said the acquisition would improve its business’s capabilities after Brexit.

“This acquisition will be another important milestone in Ornua’s growth as a global supplier of quality dairy products,”​ said Ornua ceo Kevin Lane. “We are buying an excellent family dairy business which allows us to significantly strengthen our presence in the UK ingredients sector.

‘Further scale the business’

“The complementary nature of our customer bases and the potential to further scale the business makes this a strong fit for Ornua. We are looking forward to working with ​[FJ Need] to grow the business in the coming years.”

FJ Need produces 16,000t of cheese a year – the equivalent to 44t a day. But, there was “significant potential”​ to boost its productivity, Ornua claimed.

The acquisition would include the cheese firm’s cutting, grating and slicing facility. FJ Need – which owns the Spinneyfields brand – also owns two cheese brands and a distribution fleet.

Ornua wanted to expand the cheese business into new international markets, to take advantage of the rapidly growing foodservice sector, it said.

‘Potential for expansion’

An Ornua statement said: “This potential for expansion into new sectors, including leveraging Ornua’s existing export routes to market, is a key benefit identified by Ornua in concluding the transaction.”

The acquisition will be completed subject to UK competition authority approval.

Meanwhile, Ornua has completed acquisitions in Africa, China, Germany, the Republic of Ireland, Saudi Arabia, Spain and the US over the past two years. The latest acquisition came just four months after Ornua completed a deal for US dairy ingredients firm CoreFX, for a fee believed to be about £4.3M (€5M).

Ornua acquisition of F J Need (Foods) – at a glance

  • Irish exporter buys cheese business FJ Need
  • Undisclosed fee
  • Ornua plans to expand FJ Need to serve global markets

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