August 27, 2008

Irish Dairy Business Buys US Sports Food Company


IRISH dairy food company Glanbia has taken a step up the value- added ladder in the US with the EUR 213m acquisition of Illinois- based Optimum Nutrition, a company which produces nutritional supplements for the sports sector.

Optimum already had a close relationship with Glanbia in the United States, buying supplies of whey for use in the manufacturer of products like Optimum Nutrition and Gold Standard 100% Whey from the Irish company.

The business is being acquired on a debt-free basis and will be funded from Glanbia's existing bank finance.

Optimum is privately owned and has three operating facilities located in Illinois, South Carolina and Florida employing 387 people.

It has a 22-year track record in the manufacture and supply of a range of whey-based, premium nutritional supplements and global sports nutrition markets. Last year, Optimum generated sales of EUR 125m and an operating profit of EUR 22m. At the end of December it had gross assets of EUR 35m.

Glanbia chief John Moloney said the acquisition gives his company "a leading position of scale in a fast-growing segment of the nutrition market".

"It is a close strategic fit with our core areas of expertise in whey and sports nutrition, and brings us up the value chain into consumer markets.

"Optimum also fits very well with the group's stated growth strategy and ambition to continue to internationalise our business," he added.

The deal is expected to make a net contribution to earnings in the current year.

(c) 2008 Belfast Telegraph. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All rights Reserved.