The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) has added another delay to Aurivo’s plans to takeover Arrabawn’s liquid-milk sales business.

The regulatory body has decided to launch a full Phase 2 investigation into the proposed transaction, a move that could push its approval out to early 2024.

Under its own guidelines, the CCPC has 120 working days to complete the examination.

Trading ‘extremely’ difficult

Arrabawn, in their most recent annual report, said they had agreed to sell their liquid-milk sales book and van fleet to Aurivo, as consolidation in the retail sector had made trading extremely difficult.

They said at the time that they expected the deal to close by the middle of this year. That timeline is now all but impossible.

Arrabawn’s processing facility at Kilconnell, Co Galway was never part of the Aurivo deal, and the owner said it is looking for alternative uses for the facility.

A spokesperson for Arrabawn told the Irish Farmers Journal that Kilconnell is still operating as a liquid-milk plant, as the business has not transferred yet.

The plan is that Aurivo will use its own milk production facilities while taking on Arrabawn’s sales staff and van fleet.

Neither party to the deal has revealed how much Aurivo agreed to pay for Arrabawn’s liquid milk business.