Irish dairy cooperative Ornua has completed the acquisition of US cheese ingredients business, Whitehall Specialties Inc (WSI), for an undisclosed sum from Mason Wells, a private equity firm based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
This acquisition complements Ornua’s US Ingredients division, Ornua Ingredients North America (OINA), and is central to the cooperative's long-term growth strategy in the US cheese ingredients market, the company said.
Ornua Acquisition Of WSI
OINA is a provider of customised functional cheese solutions for US food manufacturing and foodservice customers.
The acquisition will enhance OINA’s current position in the US cheese ingredients market, expanding its production footprint across six well-invested facilities in Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Pennsylvania.
It will enable Ornua to implement its long-term growth strategy, unlocking significant growth capacity and flexibility to support its existing and new customers’ ambitious growth plans.
Commenting on the announcement, Ornua CEO, John Jordan said, "Ornua Ingredients North America is a core part of the Ornua business, delivering strong growth over the last ten 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.
"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,” added Jordan.
Functional Cheese Solutions
Headquartered in Wisconsin, WSI provides innovative functional cheese solutions to its longstanding food manufacturing and food service customers.
Outside of the cheese ingredients sector, Ornua is a leading supplier in the US consumer market with its flagship brand, Kerrygold.
Kerrygold, Ireland’s only €1 billion food brand, is the number two butter brand in the US and sells 10 million packs each week globally.