Kerry Group has finally won its protracted battle to acquire food manufacturer Breeo Foods for a reported €140m.
The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (the CCPC) announced the conclusion of a challenge taken by the former Competition Authority (the Authority) in 2008 against the acquisition of Breeo Foods a wholly-owned subsidiary of Kerry Group plc.
The CCPC has decided not to proceed with its appeal to the Supreme Court and has agreed satisfactory settlement terms with Kerry subsidiary Rye Investments Limited relating to the costs of the High Court and Supreme Court proceedings.
Breeo Foods owns a number of well known trademarks comprising of Dairygold, Galtee and Shaws. Meanwhile, Kerry owns other trademarks including Denny, Ballyfree, Clover, Low Low and EasiSingles.
In August 2008, the former Competition Authority (now the CCPC) prohibited the implementation of a merger which involved the acquisition by Kerry Group of Breeo Foods Limited and Breeo Brands Limited.
Each of the parties involved owned and controlled a number of significant brands in the grocery sector.
Following a detailed review of the affected markets, the Authority issued a Determination finding that the transaction was likely to result in a substantial lessening of competition in a number of product markets.
Rye Investments Limited appealed to the High Court and in March 2009 the Authority’s prohibition decision was annulled by the High Court and the parties proceeded to implement the merger.
In April 2009 the Authority appealed to the Supreme Court against the High Court judgement. The case was due to be heard by the Supreme Court at the end of April 2016.
Following the latest review of the case, taking all the circumstances of this case into account, particularly the passage of time since the High Court judgement, the CCPC has decided not to proceed with the appeal to the Supreme Court.