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Larry Goodman prepares to up stake in C&D

Larry Goodman's Anglo Irish Beef Processors (AIBP) is set to increase its stake in C&D Foods, the pet food manufacturer, the Irish Independent understands.

Goodman's firm already owns 50pc of the company and is set to increase the stake substantially, but this will most likely fall short of 100pc ownership.

A spokesman for AIBP declined to comment last night on its intentions in relation to C&D. Any deal will need the Competition Authority's approval.

AIBP, a private unlimited company, is the largest beef processor in the country and in June 2008 it took the 50pc stake. C&D is now able to avail of raw materials for its products from Irish Food Processors, the parent of AIBP, which is based in Ardee, Co Louth.

AIBP specialises in beef processing, de-boning and retail packing. C &D is Ireland's largest pet food manufacturer and was founded in 1969 by former taoiseach Albert Reynolds. The 50pc stake not owned by Goodman is currently held by Philip Reynolds

C&D Foods produces petfood for various retailers including Dunnes, Tesco, Asda and Sainsbury's.

A major fire in 2006 that destroyed its Irish facilities and the majority of its sales also threatened the survival of the company. Later, a €30m investment was made in its Longford plant.

C&D has been on an acquisition spree itself in recent years and last year it bought a 140,000 sq ft canning facility near Amsterdam from Swiss food giant Nestle. C&D is believed to have a turnover of over €100m a year.

The Longford plant produces single-portion pouches and tins for cats and dogs.

Irish Independent