News | December 23, 2022

Butterfly Acquires Nutrition Leader Milk Specialties Global

Los Angeles, CA - ()--Butterfly, a Los Angeles-based private equity firm specializing in the food sector, today announced its entry into a definitive agreement to acquire Milk Specialties Global (“Milk Specialties” or the “Company”), a leader in human and animal nutrition, from affiliates of American Securities LLC.

Founded in 1949 and based in Eden Prairie, MN, Milk Specialties is an industry-leading, vertically integrated ingredient manufacturer focused on the processing of raw dairy inputs, such as milk and liquid whey, into value-added functional ingredients for a variety of growing nutrition end markets. The Company's Human Nutrition segment is a leading performance nutrition manufacturer that produces high-quality dairy protein ingredients and products designed to optimize health and nutrition. Today, Milk Specialties’ Human Nutrition segment is the largest producer of whey protein isolate in the world. The Company's Animal Nutrition segment is a leading provider of science-based animal nutrition products for the dairy industry.

Milk Specialties operates 12 state-of-the-art facilities strategically positioned across the U.S. that allow the Company to deliver high-quality, specialized ingredients and exceptional service to customers around the globe. It has been led for over 14 years by CEO and industry veteran David Lenzmeier, who will continue to lead the business going forward.

Milk Specialties is Butterfly’s latest investment within its “seed to fork” strategy spanning agriculture and aquaculture, food and beverage products, food distribution, and foodservice. Butterfly brings specialized expertise in performance nutrition as a result of its 2019 majority investment in Orgain, one of the fastest-growing consumer brands in the nutrition industry. In 2022, Butterfly sold a majority stake in Orgain to Nestlé Health Science and continues to own a minority stake.

“We are beyond excited to roll up our sleeves and get to work with the Butterfly team. Partnering with a food-focused firm like Butterfly, we can drive enhanced value creation for all partners. We are really looking forward to what the future holds because Butterfly will enable Milk Specialties to achieve a new level of growth,” said Milk Specialties’ CEO David Lenzmeier.

“We’ve admired Dave and team from afar for many years and are excited to welcome them to the Butterfly family,” said Butterfly Co-Founders and Co-CEOs Adam Waglay and Dustin Beck. “We’re confident that Milk Specialties’ industry leadership and best-in-class team, combined with our expertise in the space, will enable us to drive even greater success for the business going forward. We can't wait to see what we can accomplish together.”

“The Milk Specialties team has continually pushed the envelope of quality, service and innovation in the protein space, and we’re thrilled to join them in making high-quality, affordable nutrition products available to even more consumers,” added Butterfly Managing Director Aaron Kirkbride.

Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. The transaction is expected to close in Q1 2023. Butterfly was advised by Kirkland & Ellis LLP on legal matters in connection with the transaction. Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC, Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC, and Rabo Securities USA, Inc. acted as financial advisors to Milk Specialties and Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP served as legal counsel.

About Milk Specialties Global
Milk Specialties Global is an industry-leading manufacturer of nutritional ingredients for the health and wellness, performance nutrition and functional food industries, with manufacturing facilities in WI, MN, NE, IL, ID and CA. The core of Milk Specialties’ business is in high-percentage protein ingredients (whey protein concentrates, isolates and hydrolysates, as well as milk protein concentrates, isolates and micellar casein), lactose and permeate as well as value added ingredients. Additional information about Milk Specialties, including the benefits of its proprietary processing methods, can be found on

About Butterfly
Butterfly Equity ("Butterfly") is a Los Angeles, California-based private equity firm specializing in the food sector, spanning the entire food value chain from "seed to fork" via four target verticals: agriculture and aquaculture, food and beverage products, food distribution, and foodservice. Butterfly aims to generate attractive investment returns through deep industry specialization, a unique approach to sourcing transactions, and leveraging an operations-focused and technology-driven approach to value creation. For additional information about Butterfly, please visit its website at

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