European Commission formally approves ABP acquisition of Slaney

The European Commission has approved, under the EU Merger Regulation, the acquisition by ABP of sole control over Slaney Foods International and Linden Foods Limited of Northern Ireland.

Slaney and Linden, which are currently jointly controlled by ABP and the UK’s Fane Valley, slaughter cattle, process their meat and collect and process animal by-products, in Belgium and Ireland for Slaney, and in the UK for Linden.

The commission concluded that the proposed acquisition would raise no competition concerns because ABP already had joint control of the companies and the change to sole control would have a limited impact on the market.

The transaction was examined under the simplified merger review procedure.

Slaney and Linden

It’s understood the businesses will continue to operate under their respective trading names for the foreseeable future and the sites will continue to operate as normal.

Earlier this year when the acquisition was first announced, ABP chief executive Frank Stephenson said: “This development is the direct result of our successful joint venture arrangement, which has enabled all parties to improve their offerings to customers and to compete more effectively nationally and internationally.

The time is now right to build on this success ensuring that we continue to be a dynamic and innovative organisation as we face into the challenges of operating in a very competitive global marketplace, while also addressing the ongoing challenges of changing agricultural policies, Brexit and Covid-19.”

At that time also, Trevor Lockhart, chief executive of Fane Valley, commented: “The Linden, Slaney and ICM businesses have progressed positively during our joint venture relationship with ABP.

“The trading environment, however, does not stand still, and all businesses need to continue to evolve and develop to maintain their competitive position in the market,” he added.

ABP

ABP Food Group says it contributes an estimated €1.3 billion each year into the rural economies in which it operates.

The company adds that it recognises that “the farmers who supply meat to us are vital partners in ensuring that the quality of our product is maintained and traceability is ensured”.

Its core business – ABP Beef – is supported by its renewable, pet food and protein divisions, which ABP says combine to ensure the value of by-products is maximised and the environmental impact of the business is minimised.