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Orkla, the Norway-based food business, has acquired Gortrush Trading in the UK, a manufacturer of ice cream ingredients, for an undisclosed sum.

The transaction was conducted by a subsidiary of Orkla’s ingredients division, NIC Enterprises, and adds to a number of other UK acquisitions in the ice cream category in recent years, namely Confection by Design, County Confectionery and Orchard Valley Foods.

Gortrush Trading is based in Omagh, Northern Ireland, and generated a turnover in the year ended September of GBP4.5m (US$6m). It sells and distributes ice cream ingredients and “accessories” to retailers and wholesalers in the UK and the Republic of Ireland.

Tor Osmundsen, the CEO of NIC, said in a statement: “We already hold a strong position in ice cream ingredients and accessories in the UK market. The acquisition of Gortrush is strategically right for increasing our foothold in Northern Ireland and gaining better access to the Irish market.”

Family-owned Gortrush was established 50 years ago and is run by Kieran Howe, the oldest son of founder Vincent Howe. Its website says the company supplies ice cream parlours, convenience stores, petrol stations, cinemas and other retail outlets with a portfolio that encompasses toppings, sprinkles, wafers, cones, flavourings and soft ice/gelato ingredients. 

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By GlobalData