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Pork Farms/Kerry Foods Merger Provisionally Cleared

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Pork Farms/Kerry Foods Merger Provisionally Cleared

Pork Farms/Kerry Foods Merger Provisionally Cleared
April 24
12:04 2015

The UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has provisionally cleared the completed acquisition by Pork Farms Caspian of the chilled savoury pastry business of Kerry Foods. The acquisition, for an undisclosed price, incorporates Kerry Foods’ manufacturing assets at Poole, Dorset, and Spalding, Lincolnshire.

Pork Farms Group, through the Pork Farms Caspian subsidiary, and Kerry Foods’s chilled savoury pastry (CSP) business both manufacture and supply branded and own-label CSP products to customers such as supermarkets, convenience stores and wholesalers. CSP products include cold pies (such as pork pies), sausage rolls, pasties, slices, hot pies, quiches and scotch eggs, and are worth approximately £1 billion a year.

The merger was referred for an in-depth investigation in January 2015, to be carried out by an inquiry group of CMA independent panel members. The CMA has provisionally concluded that the merger has not resulted, and may not be expected to result, in a substantial lessening of competition, and hence higher prices or lower quality for retailers or consumers for the products affected by the merger: hot pies, cold pies, sausage rolls, and pasties and slices.

John Wotton, Chair of the Pork Farms Caspian/Kerry Foods merger group, says: “Given the size of the sector and the popularity of these products, the fact that two of the largest suppliers had merged meant it was important for us to have the chance to examine in detail the possible effects on retailers and, by extension, consumers. However, on the basis of the evidence we have seen, we do not think either retailers or consumers will lose out from the merger.”

The inquiry group must publish its final decision by 21 June 2015.

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