The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) issued a request on Monday for further information from the parties involved in the Dawn Meats takeover of Kildare Chilling.

The immediate effect of this move is to stop the clock on the phase one investigation into the deal, which was due to be completed by Tuesday 21 March.

Once the required information is received - and there is no indication as to what information the CCPC has asked for - the commission will have another 30 working days to make a determination as to whether to allow the deal to progress or to move to a phase two investigation.

This means it will be May at the earliest before we can expect a decision on the buyout, which has to potential to disrupt the sheep trade in Ireland.