Ornua acquires US cheese company Whitehall Specialties

By Jim Cornall

- Last updated on GMT

Ornua's facility in Wisconsin. Pic: Ornua
Ornua's facility in Wisconsin. Pic: Ornua

Related tags ornua acquisition M&A Cheese

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 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

The acquisition complements Ornua’s US Ingredients division, Ornua Ingredients North America (OINA), and is central to Ornua’s long-term growth strategy in the US cheese ingredients market. 

OINA is a provider of customized functional cheese solutions for US food manufacturing and foodservice customers.

OINA said the acquisition increases its current position in the US cheese ingredients market, expanding its production footprint across six facilities in Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Pennsylvania.  It will be important to Ornua’s long-term growth strategy, unlocking growth capacity and flexibility to support its existing and new customers’ growth plans.

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 centered around creating and maintaining long-term partnerships with our customers through innovation, best-in-class technical expertise and a true spirit of collaboration.” 

Headquartered in Wisconsin, WSI provides functional cheese solutions to its food manufacturing and food service customers. 

Outside of the cheese ingredients sector, Ornua is a supplier in the US consumer market with its flagship brand, Kerrygold.  Kerrygold, Ireland’s only €1bn food brand, is the number two butter brand in the US, and sells 10m packs each week globally.

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