ABP receives green light from European Commission in Linden deal

The proposed acquisition of joint control over Linden Foods by ABP Food Group and Fane Valley has received the green light from the European Commission.

The deal was “cleared unconditionally under the EU Merger Regulation” by the commission on Friday, September 29.

It was concluded that the transaction would not adversely affect competition in the EU Single Market, according to the commission.

All of the companies involved are active in Ireland and the UK in the purchase and slaughter of live cattle, sheep and lambs – as well as the processing of their meat.

The companies also have overlapping activities in the market for sale of fresh and processed meat, and the markets for animal byproducts, the commission added.

Following the transaction, ABP will increase its interest in Linden to 50% – with the effect that Linden will be jointly controlled by ABP and Fane Valley. 

Linden Foods – an award-winning fresh meat processor – has facilities in: Dungannon, Co. Tyrone; Burradon, England; as well as Kettyle Irish Foods in Enniskillen, Co. Fermanagh.

Investigation

News of the acquisition emerged earlier this year and the transaction was notified to the European Commission on August 25, 2017.

The commission’s investigation focused in particular on the impact of the proposed transaction on competition in the markets where the activities of the parties overlap.

These include:
  • The potential impacts on the markets for the purchasing of live animals for slaughter;
  • On competition in the downstream markets relating to the sale of fresh and processed meat;
  • On the collection of animal byproducts generated by slaughtering activities.

Following the investigation, it was concluded that the transaction would not raise competition concerns in relation to any of these markets.

Throughout the investigation, the commission was in close contact with the national competition authorities in Ireland and the UK – with both authorities reviewing a parallel transaction, the merger between Dunbia and Dawn Meats.

The European Commission underlined the fact that the assessment of the present transaction will not change, irrespective of the outcome of the assessment carried out in relation to the Dunbia / Dawn Meats merger.