US – Welcome Dairy Holdings, a portfolio company of private equity firm New Heritage Capital, has acquired North Star Processing, to enable it to expand its offering to customers.  

North Star is a leading provider of spray drying services for the food ingredient industry, with an impressive track record of growth spanning over 20 years. 

Spray drying is the most common and easy drying process used for drying any liquid or semi-solid feed as compared to other industrial drying processes. 

It is also the most viable method to produce heat-sensitive products such as milk powder and helps in producing fine and granular dried powder particles, which can be used as flavoring agents in food products and juices and as fillings in bakery products. 

Perfecting the art of spray drying makes North Star a strategic addition to Welcome Dairy Holdings which has expertise in dairy and non-dairy flavors and ingredients, encompassing the interests of Welcome Dairy and Gamay Food Ingredients. 

Through its acquisition of North Star Processing, the company aims to expand its capabilities, allowing it to provide services ranging from initial flavour formulation to full-scale ingredient manufacturing. 

“We’ve spent the last twenty years building a business that put its customers and employees first,” said Tim Nicholson, former CEO and co-owner of North Star. 

“We’re excited to have found a partner in Welcome Dairy who shares those same values and will continue to do right by our customers and employees in the future.” 

Welcome Dairy Holding’s acquisition of North Star processing is well-timed as the global milk powder market which was valued at US$27.783 billion in 2017 is projected to reach US$38.086 billion by 2025, according to a report by Research and Markets. 

The market research firm notes that factors such as an increase in the use of milk powder in infant foods and the presence of several nutrients such as vitamin C, vitamin B12, thiamin, and high amounts of protein drive the global milk powder market. 

“We’re thrilled to bring spray drying capabilities in-house. We now offer the full spectrum of dairy ingredients to our customers, including dairy flavours, dry blend and spray dried dairy and non-dairy seasonings, shelf-stable and refrigerated sauces, and functional cheese products,” said Terry Schneider, president of Welcome. 

“This full offering means we can better address our customers’ most important product development needs.” 

The financial terms of the transaction have not been disclosed. 

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