Ornua buys UK cheese firm to bolster post-Brexit business

Cheshire-based FJ Need will play key role in strengthening business post-Brexit

Photograph: iStock

Photograph: iStock


Irish dairy product exporter Ornua is to buy UK-based cheese company FJ Need for an undisclosed sum as the company looks to the post-Brexit business environment.

The Cheshire-based ingredients company includes a cheese cutting, grating and slicing facility, two cheese brands and a distribution fleet, and supplies British and Irish cheese ingredients to the foodservice and food manufacturing sectors. It has an annual turnover of about €50 million.

The two firms have an existing relationship, with Ornua supplying Irish cheese to the company.

The deal is subject to approval by UK competition authorities. If it gets the go-ahead, Ornua said it sees significant potential to expand the current production of 16,000 tonnes at FJ Need’s cheese production facility, targeting the foodservice market both in the UK and internationally.

“This acquisition will be another important milestone in Ornua’s growth as a global supplier of quality dairy products,” said Ornua chief executive Kevin Lane. “We are buying an excellent family dairy business which allows us to significantly strengthen our presence in the UK ingredients sector. The complementary nature of our customer bases and the potential to further scale the business makes this a strong fit for Ornua.”

Ornua said the acquisition is part of its plans to strengthen its business in Germany, North America and the UK, and marks the latest in a series of investments by the firm over the past two years. In November it announced the purchase of US-based CoreFX in a deal thought to be worth up to €5 million.