Slaney deal goes to EU
Fane Valley Co-Op and ABP Food Group confirmed yesterday that their proposed 50:50 joint venture in relation to Slaney Foods will be assessed by the EU's competition authority.
National authorities will also be involved in the process.
Trevor Lockhart, chairman of Linden Foods, which is owned by Fane Valley Co-Op, said that he looked forward to a positive resolution.
"Further growth internationally is key to the long term success of the Slaney beef and lamb businesses. ABP, with its international sales footprint, is an ideal strategic fit. Both companies are top payers for quality cattle. This is a strategic emphasis that will not change with this transaction," he said.
"Structural change within Irish beef processing is a fact of life in 2016 and with the beef sector becoming increasingly globalised, further strategic developments of this nature within the industry are inevitable.
"After carefully considering our options, we are delighted that we are partnering with ABP," he added.
Paul Finnerty, CEO of ABP Food Group, acknowledged that the move to corner 28pc of the Irish beef kill by his company had generated controversy among farmers.
"We should not underestimate the looming risks of Mercosur, TTIP and Brexit, any of which will further accelerate a more challenging market environment," he said, before adding that the long term view was positive.