Ornua chief executive John Jordan has been chosen as The Irish Times Business Person of the Month for October, an award run in association with Bank of Ireland.
During the month, Ornua acquired US cheese business Whitehall Specialties for an undisclosed sum from private equity group Mason Wells.
Increase in facilities
Ornua, which owns the successful Kerrygold butter brand, said the acquisition would “significantly increase” its current position in the US cheese ingredients market, expanding its production footprint from two to six facilities across Wisconsin, Minnesota and Pennsylvania.
The move is expected to effectively double Ornua’s production capacity – in terms of cheese ingredients – in the US.
Whitehall Specialties, which has its headquarters in Wisconsin, provides cheese ingredient products to customers in the food manufacturing, retail and food service sectors. It employs 450 people across four sites. According to industry sources the US business had a $200 million (€173 million) turnover last year.
“It will be an important enabler of Ornua’s long-term growth strategy, unlocking significant growth capacity and flexibility to support its existing and new customers’ ambitious growth plans,” Ornua said of the deal.