Kerrygold owner Ornua refinances debt with new €580m facility

Dairy group says arrangement will include specific emissions, waste and diversity targets

Kerrygold owner Ornua has refinanced its debt with a new five-year syndicated bank facility of €580 million.

The dairy exporter said the new arrangement, which extends to 2026, would incorporate key sustainability indicators that address emissions, waste and diversity targets.

Some €200 million will fund Ornua’s working capital requirements and “its global growth strategy via strategic capital investment and acquisition”, the group said.

The residual €380 million will fund the working capital requirements of Ornua’s member suppliers, Ireland’s dairy processors, it said.


The refinancing, which includes a further €100 million if required, is coming via Allied Irish Banks, Bank of Ireland, Bank of America (Europe), HSBC (Continental Europe), Rabobank (Dublin) and Bayern LB.


"The successful refinancing ensures that Ornua retains access to the banking liquidity it needs to deliver strategic growth initiatives and strong product price returns for our members and Irish dairy farming families," Ornua's group finance director Donal Buggy said.

"Not only does the €580 million facility strengthen our capital structure, but it also provides increased working capital support to our members and ultimately the dairy community across Ireland, " he added.

“We are very pleased that the deal was again over-subscribed – a clear indicator of our banking partners’ continued support of Ornua’s ambitious growth strategy,” he said.

Ornua, the State's largest dairy exporter, recently acquired US cheese business Whitehall Specialties, doubling its footprint in the US cheese ingredients market.

The group aims to increase Kerrygold sales to €2 billion by 2025, mainly by securing a greater market share in the US, where it is now the No 2 butter brand.

Kerrygold became the first Irish food brand to exceed €1 billion in annual sales in 2018.

Ornua saw turnover rise 1 per cent to €2.34 billion in the 12 months to the end of December last year.

Eoin Burke-Kennedy

Eoin Burke-Kennedy

Eoin Burke-Kennedy is Economics Correspondent of The Irish Times