Kerry's acquisition of Breeo Foods blocked

by Eric Schroeder
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DUBLIN — The Competition Authority of Ireland on Thursday blocked the proposed acquisition by Kerry Group P.L.C. of Breeo Foods Ltd. and Breeo Brands Ltd., ruling that such a transaction "would substantially lessen competition in the markets for the production, supply and distribution of rashers, non-poultry cooked meats and processed cheese in (Ireland)."

The move, which followed a full investigation by the Competition Authority’s Mergers division, marks only the third time that the Competition Authority has blocked a proposed merger since the provisions of the Competition Act regarding merger control went into effect in January 2003.

Both the Kerry Group and Reox Holdings (Breeo’s parent company) expressed disappointment with the ruling and said they will review the decision over the next several days.

Kerry Group announced its intent to acquire Breeo Foods in mid-March for €165 million. The acquisition would have brought such brands as Dairygold, Galtee, Shaws, Roscrea, Mitchelstown, Calvita and Sno into the Kerry Group’s portfolio.

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