Competition authority moves to phase two on Pork Farms/Kerry deal

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has confirmed it will launch a phase two investigation into the acquisition by Pork Farms of the chilled savoury pastry business of Kerry Foods Limited.

This comes after it gave Pork Farms the chance to offer “acceptable undertakings to address the competition concerns in a clear-cut manner” in December 2014.

Information will be gathered over the next two months, and the CMA must publish its final decision by 21 June 2015.

The CMA said the merger meant there was a “realistic prospect” that there would be a “substantial lessening” of competition in the pork pie and pastry market.

A Pork Farms spokesman said in December: “We are obviously disappointed with the CMA’s decision to refer the transaction to a phase two review.

“We continue to believe the transaction will provide our customers with a streamlined, more responsive and better-invested supply chain, reflecting the increasingly competitive retail landscape that we are seeing in today’s markets as consumers’ shopping habits change.

“We will continue to work closely with the CMA in relation to the transaction to ensure that it has all necessary information to inform the review process.”

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