Milk Specialties Global

North American manufacturer of value added dairy proteins serving the sports nutrition, health & wellness and functional foods markets

Milk Specialties produces functional ingredients for the rapidly growing health and wellness, sports nutrition, functional foods and animal nutrition markets. The human nutrition division is one of the largest independent North American manufacturers of whey and milk proteins used in sports nutrition and health and wellness powders, bars and beverages, as well as a variety of food products looking to increase their protein content. The animal nutrition division primarily supplies functional fats and carbohydrates that help increase the yield of dairy cows for livestock producers worldwide. Both divisions are dedicated to providing science-based solutions backed by a management team and manufacturing platform dedicated to meeting the needs of its customers.

The Value Creation Opportunity

The Kainos team developed an investment thesis around the long-term growth in protein consumption, driven by an increasingly active and health conscious consumer, and an aging population. As a result, we evaluated numerous opportunities along this theme, particularly those around the more convenient delivery of protein in sports nutrition products. Due to its deep industry knowledge and a strong relationship with the Milk Specialties team, the Kainos team emerged as the preferred partner to further grow the business in 2011.

The Kainos team viewed Milk Specialties as an opportunity to partner with a dynamic management team in both value added dairy proteins and functional animal ingredients, segments that lend themselves to product innovation and high return capital investments given the favorable overall end markets for these ingredients. Together we were able to build one of the largest independent North American manufacturers of high value whey and milk proteins and one of the leading branded providers of nutritional energy products to the dairy industry.

Change Capital At Work

Increasing whey processing capacity to meet the robust demand for higher value-added whey proteins was the first priority.  Within the first year of our partnership, Kainos and the management team made significant capital investments and completed the installation of a whey permeate dryer and other equipment sets to increase whey processing capacity for the human nutrition division.  We began production at two new greenfield facilities in Utah and California, enabling Milk Specialties to expand its customer base and product offering by introducing a line of milk proteins. The Kainos team also worked with Milk Specialties to introduce new customers and whey suppliers.

We also forecasted strong growth in the Animal Nutrition division and invested in both research and development as well as capacity, which enabled Milk Specialties to have a broad product portfolio serving dairy producers throughout the U.S.

The Kainos Effect

After more than doubling the profitability of the Company, we sold Milk Specialties in August 2016.