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April 1, 2016

Dunbia deal speculation gathers pace

Speculation is mounting over the ownership of Dunbia, the UK meat processor, after fresh reports in the UK and Ireland.

By Dean Best

Speculation is mounting over the ownership of Dunbia, the UK meat processor, after fresh reports in the UK and Ireland.

The Sunday Times reported Danish Crown, the Denmark-based pork co-operative and Cranswick, the UK-listed meat processor, had made approaches to buy Dunbia’s pig-processing business.

Meanwhile, reports in the UK and Ireland have suggested Dunbia – which has interests in beef, lamb and pork production – could be set to team up with UK food giant 2 Sisters Food Group, with a red meat venture between the two businesses rumoured.

When contacted by just-food today (1 April), Dunbia refused to be drawn on the reports. “We’re not commenting on that,” a spokesperson said.

Officials at 2 Sisters and Cranswick could not be reached for comment at the time of publication.

A spokesperson for Danish Crown said the company has a policy of not commenting on “speculation”.

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At the end of last year, Dunbia confirmed it was weighing up options on how to “maximise the potential” of the company

At the time, Dunbia said it had received “several serious expressions of interest from would-be investors” in the past two years. The company added it had “enjoyed consistent growth over the past number of years and has ambitious plans to grow and expand the business”.

In January, The Belfast Telegraph linked JBS, the Brazil-based meat giant and owner of Moy Park, to Dunbia. However, a spokesperson for JBS told just-food: “There is no foundation to this speculation”.

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