Irish dairy group Ornua has announced it is selling its powder blending and manufacturing business in the UK.

The business sits within UK-based Ornua Nutrition Ingredients (ONI), part of Ornua Ingredients Europe.

Ornua has negotiated an agreement to sell the powder blending and manufacturing business in Leek, in the English Midlands, as a going concern to Roger Wertheim-Aymes, founder of the medical supplement operation Aymes.

The Leek facility supplies a range of customers including Aymes. It produces dairy ingredients, bakery products, breakfast cereal, sports nutrition and health and well-being products.

Financial details of the deal were not disclosed.

The facility will manufacture products under the trading name Allicio after the finalisation of the transaction.

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By GlobalData

The business “will remain an important strategic customer of Ornua,” said the seller in a statement.

A company spokesperson said the powder blending factory has 85 employees and it is intended that all of them will transfer to Allicio.

The deal is planned to be completed later in January, subject to consulting with transferring employees.

According to ONI’s statement, the new ownership will continue to focus on growing existing customer relationships at the facility.

The move “will allow Ornua Ingredients Europe to focus on enhancing its leadership position as a supplier of innovative and high-quality cheese ingredients to leading food manufacturing, foodservice and QSR customers,” the company spokesperson told Just Food.

Aymes is a supplier of nutritional and medical oral nutritional supplements to healthcare providers in the UK and is a long-standing strategic customer of ONI.

“ONI Bulk Powder Trading is not included in the sale and will continue sourcing and selling powders to its existing customer base,” said the Kerrygold butter owner in the statement. “Similarly, the sale will not impact Ornua Ingredients Europe’s other sites, nor Ornua Foods UK..”

It added: “Ornua Foods UK’s major cheese cutting and packing plant also located in Leek continues to perform strongly and will be the subject of further major capital investment this year.”

Ornua owns brands such as Kerrygold, Pilgrims Choice, and Pembrokeshire. According to the business’s website, its “annualised global sales” amount to more than €2.5bn ($2.73bn), it operates from 15 subsidiaries “worldwide,” and it exports to more than 110 countries.

In October last year, the company invested €40m ($42.2m at the time) in a dairy plant in Ireland to support growth in its global Kerrygold butter brand.