Irish meat processor ABP Food Group has been given the green light for the acquisition of two Scotbeef facilities at Bridge of Allan and Queenslie in Glasgow, after the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) launched an investigation into the purchase earlier this year.
In July, the CMA raised an initial enforcement order due to concerns that the deal would undermine competition in the red meat sector, before launching a merger inquiry in September.
However, the watchdog recently announced that it had ”cleared the completed acquisition” and that the deal could now go ahead, with full details of the decision due to be published shortly.
Frank Stephen, ABP Food Group’s chief executive, said: “I would like to welcome our new colleagues and farmer suppliers to ABP and look forward to further developing opportunities for quality Scottish beef and lamb products in the retail and food service sectors across the UK and further afield.”
When the announcement of the buy over was made in June this year, farmers and industry leaders voiced their concerns, with NFU Scotland (NFUS) describing it as a ”significant concern” for the union’s membership.
Since the investigation has been cleared, Neil Shand, chief executive of the National Beef Association, said: “Capacity is really important and it is a relief that the two sites will still be operating to provide an outlet for Scottish producers.
“It does however mean that ABP will now be a strong contender of finished cattle in Scotland.”
ABP has had a presence in Scotland since 1982 where it already employs 320 colleagues and works with 1,600 Scottish farmers.
The company has a further 15 meat processing sites across the UK.