Group communications director Paul Flanagan said the undisclosed deal was the result of a long-held ambition of the company to expand beyond its, “traditional dairy bedrock”.
“We looked at a range of companies in this area and chose CNP Professional because of their pedigree in the area especially among professional and serious athletes,” Flanagan said.
"We worked with Fonterra on some projects and that increased our interest in this kind of thing so while some people might look on it as a left-field move, it fits perfectly with our desire to have a broader business model."
CNP products are endorsed by the British cycling team and the Sky pro cycling team as well as the Manchester City and Arsenal football clubs, links that would be maintained, Flanagan said, “to help pull in the lifestyle people.”
The founder of Manchester-based CNP Professional, Kerry Kayes, will be staying with the company in a non-executive role and as a brand ambassador.
“Following substantial investment in the brand, production capability and customer offer CNP is a trusted source of high quality nutrition for its users, and the involvement of First Milk will only help to expedite our continued growth,” Kayes said.
The UK sports nutrition market is estimated to be worth more than €300m.
Fully formed sports nutrition programme
International investment bank Altium negotiated the deal and its managing director, Simon Lord said: “Over the past three years, CNP has developed a fully formed sports nutrition programme and this acquisition will ensure security of key raw materials supply. First Milk is the ideal partner to capitalise on the impressive growth that CNP has already seen and take the business to the next level.”
First Milk supplies about 15% of the UK milk market.