Glanbia expands into US supplements market

By Lorraine Heller

- Last updated on GMT

Irish nutritional ingredients group Glanbia has expanded its presence in the US market with the acquisition of sports supplement firm Optimum Nutrition.

With three facilities in Illinois, South Carolina and Florida, Optimum has a strong presence in the US market for whey-based premium sports supplements.

This is the first time that Glanbia has ventured into the supplements arena, but the firm has for some time been looking to expand in this direction. Glanbia group managing director John Moloney today said that the acquisition is a close fit in its area of expertise, and is also in line with its strategy to “internationalize” ​its business.

The firm has a long-standing strategy to expand and diversify its business, and growing in the nutritionals area is part of this, explained Glanbia’s Garaldine Kearney.

“This is slightly different, but compatible with the markets we are serving,”​ she said.

The company is a major player in the dairy market, but also has a significant presence in the supply of whey-based nutritional ingredients.

Glanbia confirmed to NutraIngredients-USA.com that the acquisition of Optimum would in no way affect its supply of when ingredients to other companies.

“Optimum Nutrition is an autonomous and wholly separate division within Glanbia. It will be business as usual with our customers,”​ said Kearney.

Business

Ingredients and nutritionals is Glanbia's largest division and its offerings include cheese, butter, casein and protein ingredient.

Glanbia reported a buoyant 2007, with sales of €1.4bn ($2.1bn) increasing 30 per cent compared to 2006. Profits jumped 93 per cent to €85m ($126m), with margins growing from 4.1 per cent to 6.1 per cent.

Glanbia's full results for the first six months of 2008 are expected on 27 August 2008.

US expansion

As part of its international expansion, Glanbia last year acquired the Canadian nutritionals business Pizzey’s Milling. Pizzey’s, which mills flaxseed for lignans and omega-3, created a way into the North American omega-3 market.

In 2006, Glanbia also acquired the Californian nutritional business Seltzer, which specializes in nutritional premixes and the development of bulk amino acids, vitamins and minerals.

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