Irish dairy co-operative, Ornua, has officially completed its acquisition of US cheese company, Whitehall Specialties Inc. (WSI).

Founded in 1994, Wisconsin-based WSI has been officially re-named Ornua Ingredients North America (OINA).

This finalises the acquisition, announced in October 2021, and described as “central to OINA’s ambitious long-term growth strategy”.

In a statement, Ornua explained that OINA custom formulates and manufactures a complete line of functional and nutritional cheese-based ingredient solutions for leading food-manufacturing and foodservice customers across the US, Canada, Central and South America.

The company has two production facilities located in Hilbert and Byron.

Ornua said that WSI contributes its expertise in the development, application and manufacturing of a range of customised, processed, analogue and plant-based cheese products.

WSI’s four advanced production and warehousing facilities will also operate under the Ornua name.

Together with WSI’s 500 employees, OINA now has an 800-strong team.

Commenting on the announcement, OINA president, Rick Pedersen said: “Whitehall’s expertise, product lines and strong industry relationships make it an excellent fit for OINA.”

“This acquisition creates a larger global player in the cheese industry. With our market share and scale of operations increased, OINA has the added capacity and flexibility to support our existing and new customers’ growth plans in new and ambitious ways.”