Irish cheese and nutrition company Glanbia has acquired US sports nutrition firm Optimum Nutrition for US$315m free of debt.

A spokesperson for Glanbia told just-food that Optimum has a nationwide presence through its brands Optimum Nutrition, Gold Standard 100% Whey and ABB.

"Optimum Nutrition primarily operates in the USA and Canada, but is also exporting to some other international markets. There is still potential to expand internationally and that is something we can help," the spokesperson said.

However, the company added that it is not currently planning a follow-up investment to further grow the business. "At the moment our priority is to bed the business in, so this is the immediate focus," Glanbia told just-food.

Privately-owned Optimum operates three manufacturing facilities in Illinois, South Carolina and Florida.

In 2007, Optimum generated $185m in revenues and $32m in operating profit. At year-end December 2007, the company had gross assets of $51m.

Announcing the acquisition, Glanbia MD John Moloney said Optimum was 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. The transaction is expected to be earnings enhancing from this year," Moloney said.