Ireland’s High Court has overthrown the Irish competition authority’s move to block Kerry Group’s acquisition of Breeo Foods.
Last year, the Irish competition watchdog said that the proposed EUR165m (US$225m) deal would substantially lessen competition in the markets for the production of rashers, non-poultry cooked meats and processed cheese.
However, Kerry challenged the decision and, in a ruling handed down this afternoon (19 March), the High Court upheld Kerry’s appeal.
Breeo is the consumer foods division of Reox Holdings, which was spun out of the Dairygold Co-operative Society. Its brands include Shaws cooked meats, Dairygold, Galtee rashers and sausages, Mitchelstown cheese.
Welcoming the news, Kerry CEO Stan McCarthy said: “The business being acquired is entirely complementary to our Kerry Foods’ chilled foods branded offering on the Irish market and our national chilled foods distribution service. I believe we can achieve significant synergies in combining both chilled foods’ businesses which will benefit all stakeholders including consumer.”
The deal, which has been sealed for a lower fee of EUR140m, is expected to be earnings neutral in the current fiscal and EPS accreditive next year, Kerry revealed.