The Competition Authority has confirmed that it has prohibited the Kerry Group's proposed acquisition of Breeo Foods.

The competition watchdog said that the deal would substantially lessen competition in the markets for the production of rashers, non-poultry cooked meats and processed cheese.

In a statement released this afternoon (29 August) the CA said that the decision was made in accordance with section 22(3)(b) of the Competition Act 2002. It is only the third time that the Authority has blocked a proposed merger since the provisions of the Competition Act regarding merger control came into effect in January 2003.

A spokesperson for Reox Holdings, the owner of Breeo Foods, said that the investment fund was "disappointed" by the news.

In a company memo seen by just-food, Breeo said: "Breeo Foods will restructure itself to meet the challenges of the current market place and invest where necessary to grow the business."