The proposed acquisition by Dawn Meats for sole control of Kildare Chilling has been notified to the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC).

The takeover was notified to the CCPC on Tuesday 7 February 2023 and submissions from third parties on the proposed takeover can be submitted up until 20 February.

A phase one preliminary investigation, as is standard in acquisition cases, has been launched by the CCPC.

Two weeks ago, the Irish Farmers Journal revealed that Dawn Meats was poised to take over the Kildare processor. Kildare Chilling is a major player in the sheep processing sector.

In 2021, it slaughtered up to 70,000 head of cattle (4% of the national kill) and last year killed in the region of 550,000 sheep (20% of the national kill).

The processor has been a market leader on lamb quotes in recent years and the move is likely to see Dawn Meats control over 30% of the national sheep kill.

Business activities

The CCPC merger notification states that Dawn’s activities in Ireland consist of slaughtering, primary processing (deboning), further processing of meat products and rendering of waste products.

“Dawn Meats operates seven sites across the State, focusing in particular on beef processing. Dawn Meats also has production and sales operations in the United Kingdom and elsewhere in Europe.

“Dawn Meats currently markets its products under a variety of brands in Ireland, including Black Angus, Red Hereford, Charolais Gold, Nature’s Meadow, West Cork Beef, Dawn Chef and The Premium Butcher.”

In relation to Kildare Chilling, the CCPC said its activities consist of slaughtering, processing (deboning) cattle and sheep and selling the resulting fresh meat cuts and byproducts.

“Kildare operates from a single site in Kildare town. Kildare markets its meat products under the Kildara and Heritage Town brands.”

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