ABP has secured approval from the European Commission to acquire the remaining share of Slaney and Linden Foods from Fane Valley.

The deal was examined by the Commission under the simplified merger procedure and it concluded that “because ABP already had joint control of the companies and the change to sole control would have a limited impact on the market”.

The decision to grant approval was widely expected and is the final hurdle for the deal cleared.

The Irish Farmers Journal understands that the Competition Markets Authority in London was consulted but did not request a formal notification. When the deal is completed later this year, ABP will have an annual kill of around 500,000 cattle and 1.25m sheep in the Republic of Ireland putting it well ahead of Dawn, the next biggest player.

In Northern Ireland, Linden – added to ABP’s Lurgan and Newry factories – will have 40% of the total NI cattle kill and 60% of the sheep kill between Linden and ABP’s Lurgan factory.