European competition authorities examine ABP acquisition of Linden Foods

ABP’s purchase 50pc of Slaney Foods gave it 28pc of the national beef kill
ABP’s purchase 50pc of Slaney Foods gave it 28pc of the national beef kill
Ciaran Moran

Ciaran Moran

The European Commissions competition authorities were notified recently of meat processing giant ABP Food Group’s plans to take a 50pc stake in the Linden Foods company.

Fane Valley Co-op and ABP Food Group  announced plans several months ago to extend their joint venture relationship to include Linden Foods, the UK based meat processing business of Fane Valley

An agreement in principle has been reached by both parties subject to approval by the relevant regulatory and competition authorities.

The announcement follows last year’s Slaney Foods and Irish Country Meats joint venture between both parties.

As a result of the creation of the Slaney Joint Venture with Fane Valley Co-Operative Society cleared by the European Commission on in October of 2016, ABP Food Group currently holds at 12.3pc (non-controlling) interest in Linden Foods Limited. ABP is now proposing to acquire a further 37.7pc interest in Linden, with the result that ABP and Fane Valley will jointly control Linden.

Both parties have said the Joint Venture, which will continue to trade as Linden Foods under the current management team.

On preliminary examination, the Commission has found that the notified transaction could fall within the scope of the Merger Regulation. However, it said the final decision on this point is reserved.

ABP Food Group is one of Europe’s leading privately owned agribusiness companies with 46 manufacturing plants across the UK, Ireland and mainland Europe. The company also operates substantial renewable, pet food and protein divisions. In Northern Ireland, ABP Food Group has two processing facilities located in Lurgan and Newry and employs 650 people.  

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Fane Valley Co-op is a progressive and successful agri-food business with interests in red meat, animal feed, agricultural supplies, porridge oats and breakfast cereals, animal by-products and fat processing. The co-operative was formed in 1903 and is farmer owned and farmer controlled. Linden Foods employs 1,100 people and is the meat processing division of Fane Valley Co-op in Northern Ireland and England.

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