The Irish Farmers Journal understands that ABP is buying out Fane Valley’s share of Slaney, Irish Country Meats (ICM) and Linden foods in Northern Ireland.

ABP and Fane Valley had run these businesses as a joint venture (JV) since ABP acquired the Allen family shares in the Slaney and ICM businesses and also bought half of Fane Valley-owned Linden Foods in Northern Ireland.

Fane Valley is a farmer-owned co-op based in Northern Ireland and its exit from Slaney, ICM and Linden will remove farmer interest in the meat processing sector.

While the business has been run on a JV basis, there has been a major overlap in business with the rest of the ABP group.


“This development is the direct result of our successful joint venture arrangement, which has enabled all parties to improve their offerings to customers and to compete more effectively nationally and internationally," ABP chief executive Frank Stephenson said.

His comments were echoed by Fane Valley chief executive Trevor Lockhart, who said the businesses had progressed positively together.

"Having reviewed the way forward with our JV partner and taking account of anticipated market developments, we have jointly concluded that the future objectives for Linden, Slaney and ICM can be best achieved under a new business structure, hence the aforementioned announcement. Business will continue as normal pending regulatory approval," he said.

When ABP announced its acquisition of half the business, it was referred to the EU competition authorities in 2016 and was subsequently approved.

This acquisition will now give ABP full control of the Slaney, ICM and Linden Foods businesses.