Glanbia plc announced it is in advanced negotiations with Dairy Farmers of America Inc and Select Milk Producers Inc to build a $170m (€150m) cheese and whey products production facility in Western Texas/New Mexico.
The plant will be 50% owned by Glanbia, with the balance owned by Dairy Farmers and Select.
The proposed project will be funded by way of $35m (€31m) of equity investment each by Glanbia and DFA/Select with the remainder directly financed by the joint venture entity.
Commissioning of the new facility is expected in the second half of 2005 and will employ approximately 200 staff.
Glanbia will have full responsibility for operations and for sales and marketing of the product stream through its existing structures.
It is expected that the plant will also, over time, become the largest advanced whey processing facility in the Northern Hemisphere, the company said.
John Moloney, group managing director of Glanbia plc has said that the project will be a significant step forward in the implementation of Glanbia's growth strategy.