Volac Wales factory

Arla Food Ingredients plans to turn Volac’s Felinfach facility into a global production hub

Arla Food Ingredients has agreed a deal with dairy business Volac to take over its whey nutrition division and turn the Welsh factory into a global production hub.

Volac – a family-owned business founded in 1970 – specialises in turning whey into ingredients for sports nutrition, with byproducts sold for food and animal nutrition.

Arla Food Ingredients said the acquisition would play “a significant role” in its future plans and added it envisioned the Felinfach whey processing facility as a global production hub and “a cornerstone of an enhanced product offering in the performance, health and food sectors”.

The group, which is headquartered in Denmark and is a 100%-owned subsidiary of Arla Foods, signed an agreement to acquire the whey nutrition division through a purchase of the shares in Volac Whey Nutrition Holdings Ltd and subsidiaries Volac Whey Nutrition Ltd and Volac Renewable Energy Ltd. Completion of the transaction is expected later this year, subject to required regulatory approvals.

Luis Cubel, group vice president and managing director of Arla Foods Ingredients, said: “This brings together two complementary offerings in a growing and increasingly international space for whey products.

“Volac is a pioneer in the use of whey protein for performance nutrition and has a wealth of expertise as well as an incredibly talented team. It shares our commitment to helping companies worldwide harness the full potential of whey, and we’re hugely excited about the opportunities that lie ahead.”

Volac added the deal represented “a logical step” in its evolution as a family business and said it provided the springboard for the “optimal development” of the whey nutrition business, as well as its remaining animal nutrition business.

“Whey processing started at the Felinfach site more than three decades ago, and we couldn’t be prouder of everything that’s been achieved by everyone involved in the business since then,” James Neville, joint owner of Volac, said on behalf of the Neville family.

“When considering the future of Volac Whey Nutrition and the opportunities that lie ahead for that business, it was crucial for us to choose a partner with the right values and expertise. Arla Foods Ingredients has the ambition and the knowledge to take the business to the next level.”

Volac Whey Nutrition’s portfolio includes the Volactive range, while Arla Foods Ingredients makes the Lacprodan range of sports nutrition products including RTDs, powder shakes and protein bars.

The global sports nutrition industry has grown at a CAGR of 9% since 2010 and is projected to be worth $42bn by 2028, compared with $28bn in 2023, according to Euromonitor.

Volac was advised by Houlihan Lokey, Ashurst, PwC and OCC, while Arla Foods Ingredients worked with Norton Rose Fulbright and EY.