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UK competition watchdog to probe Dawn Meats, Dunbia merger

FBR Staff Writer Published 14 August 2017

The UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has launched a merger investigation into the proposed joint venture between Dawn Meats and Dunbia.

Also under the CMA investigation will be the proposed acquisition by Dawn Meats of Dunbia’s operations in Ireland.

Dawn Meats and Dunbia announced their strategic partnership in late May. According to the terms, the companies will form a joint venture (JV) in the UK in which Dawn Meats will be the majority owner.

The JV will combine the UK operations of the two meat processing companies.

The CMA stated: “The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is considering whether it is or may be the case that this transaction, if carried into effect, will result in the creation of a relevant merger situation under the merger provisions of the Enterprise Act 2002 and, if so, whether the creation of that situation may be expected to result in a substantial lessening of competition within any market or markets in the United Kingdom for goods or services.”

Through the acquisition of Dunbia’s operations in Ireland for an undisclosed price, Dawn Meats will grow its facilities to 9. This will be with the addition of two complementary facilities of Dunbia with one being an abattoir in Slane and a boning hall in Kilbeggan.

As far as the JV is concerned, the combined UK business has been planned to trade as Dunbia. The UK JV is expected to bring about improved scale and market footprint to cater in a better way to existing farmer suppliers and customers of the two partners across all sectors.

The agreement for the strategic partnership was also based on their highly complementary nature. Customers of the companies are expected to be offered locally sourced solutions for beef and lamb from 15 facilities across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Put together the Dawn Meats and Dunbia businesses process about 900,000 cattle and 2.6 million sheep each year.

Image: CMA will investigate into the proposed transactions between Dawn Meats and Dunbia. Photo: courtesy of Dunbia.