Ornua acquires US cheese ingredients firm

By Gwen Ridler contact

- Last updated on GMT

Ornua has acquired US cheese ingredients firm Whitehall Specialties
Ornua has acquired US cheese ingredients firm Whitehall Specialties

Related tags: Mergers and acquisitions, Dairy

Irish dairy cooperative Ornua has completed the acquisition of US cheese ingredients business Whitehall Specialties for an undisclosed sum.

Further extending Ornua’s presence in the continent, the acquisition will complement its US ingredient’s division, Ornua Ingredients North America (OINA) and will play a pivotal role in its long-term growth strategy in the US.

OINA’s production footprint has further expanded across six ‘well-invested’ facilities in Wisconsin, Minnesota and Pennsylvania.

Ten years of growth

According to Ornua chief executive John Jordan, the acquisition built on the strong growth the US ingredients division has delivered over the past 10 years.

“By bringing together two market leaders, in complementary parts of the ingredients sector, we are creating a powerful partnership that builds a strong foundation for a long-term, sustainable future,” ​Jordan added.

“We warmly welcome the Whitehall Specialties team and are looking forward to partnering with them as we look to our next stage of growth. Our combined business is centred around creating and maintaining long-term partnerships with our customers through innovation, best-in-class technical expertise and a true spirit of collaboration.”

US supplier

Outside of the cheese ingredients sector, Ornua is one of the biggest suppliers in the US consumer market with its flagship brand, Kerrygold – reportedly Ireland’s only €1bn food brand and the number two butter brand in the US.

The completion of Ornua’s acquisition of Whitehall followed as healthy set of results for the dairy firm earlier this month, which saw the business report pre-tax profit and sales growth in the year needed 26 December 2020.

Pre-tax profits grew by 26.8% to £5.2m, reflecting strong underlying business growth, the impact of the change in consumer behaviour in response to Covid-19 and favourable commodity price movements. Turnover for the year was up 16.1% to £411m.

Meanwhile, last week, baked goods manufacturer and retail bakery chain Cooplands was acquired by Euro Garages (EG) Group​ for an undisclosed sum.

Related topics: Dairy, Operations

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