Farm Ireland

Friday 19 January 2018

Dawn Meats to acquire Dunbia operations in the Republic

Dunbia employs nearly 4,000 people around the globe, including around 1,000 in Dungannon
Dunbia employs nearly 4,000 people around the globe, including around 1,000 in Dungannon
Ciaran Moran

Ciaran Moran

It has been announced that Dawn Meats has acquired Dunbia’s operations in the Republic of Ireland.

It comes following an agreement between both companies to establish a majority owned joint venture in the United Kingdom comprising the UK operations of both organisations.

The deal is subject to approval by the relevant competition authorities.

In Ireland, Dawn Meats will have 9 facilities (including 5 abattoirs), following the addition of two complementary Dunbia facilities - one abattoir in Slane, and one boning hall in Kilbeggan.

The development is the second major merger in the Irish beef sector in the last 12 months following link up between the Larry Goodman owned ABP Group and Slaney Meats in 2016 which was vigorously opposed by farmers.

The companies say the combined UK businesses will trade as Dunbia and will deliver enhanced scale and market presence to better serve existing farmer suppliers and customers of both organisations across the retail, manufacturing, wholesale and food service sectors. 

The businesses are highly complementary, and will offer customers regionally sourced solutions for both beef and lamb from 15 facilities across Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Across Dawn Meats and Dunbia, the businesses process approximately 900,000 cattle and 2.6m sheep annually. 

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Dawn Meats is also a 49pc shareholder in Elivia, the number 2 beef processor in France, which processes approximately 500,000 cattle annually.

Dunbia is a leading processor of beef and lamb with 9 sites located across the UK and Ireland, employing around 4,000 people. The company is one of Northern Ireland’s largest privately owned companies and currently exports to 36 countries worldwide.

Dunbia’s CEO Jim Dobson, OBE will be CEO of the new Dunbia JV, and Dawn Meats’ CEO Niall Browne, will be Executive Chairman. The Joint Venture will be run from Dunbia’s existing headquarters in Dungannon, Northern Ireland.

Commenting, Niall Browne, CEO of Dawn Meats said both companies are family businesses with a deep connection to farming and a culture and business ethos that is centered on quality and sustainability.  

"Given the uncertainty posed by Brexit, this partnership should further underpin the competiveness of both operations to the benefit of all stakeholders in the UK, Ireland and across Europe.

“We are very excited about the future of both companies and the opportunities that this transaction will bring for our staff, customers and suppliers.

"In our key operating markets we will be involved in 3 leading national businesses with Dawn Meats in Ireland, Dunbia in the UK and Elivia in France, with our cooperative partners Terrena,” he said.

Meanwhile Jim Dobson, CEO of Dunbia said the right strategic partnership for Dunbia’s staff and customers and sees us joining with a company with a shared heritage of excellence in the production of premium beef and lamb products.

"The new UK joint venture confirms our future as a leading supplier in the UK market. In a consolidating industry this deal makes strategic sense for both companies, our customers and our farmer suppliers.”

Online Editors

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