Meat processing giants unveil merger plan for UK arms

Dawn Meats and Dunbia are combining their operations in the UK. Picture: Ahn Young-joon/AP
Dawn Meats and Dunbia are combining their operations in the UK. Picture: Ahn Young-joon/AP
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Two of the country’s largest meat companies – which between them handle 900,000 cattle and 2.6 million sheep annually – have announced a merger deal that will see their business operations combined in a joint venture.

It was announced yesterday that Dawn Meats had agreed a strategic partnership with Dunbia to establish a joint venture comprising the two companies’ UK operations.

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Dawn will also acquire Dunbia’s operations in the Republic of Ireland – although the deal is subject to approval by the relevant competition authorities.

The combined UK businesses will trade as Dunbia and the companies claimed it would deliver enhanced scale and market presence to better serve existing farmer suppliers and customers of both organisations from their 15 facilities across the UK.

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NFU Scotland’s livestock committee chairman Charlie Adam said the move would produce a UK meat business of significant size and importance.

“Dunbia states that this enhanced scale will allow it to offer a better service to farmer suppliers, and we look forward to learning how this commitment will be realised at its Scottish sites in Saltcoats, Ayr and Elgin,” said Adam.

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He added that farmers and crofters in Scotland hoped that the new business would work with the industry to grow the reputation of Scottish beef and lamb.

“The presence of competitive meat processing in Scotland is vital in maintaining the viability of livestock farming across all parts of Scotland and it’s important that the Scottish red meat sector is as prepared as possible for the uncertainty of Brexit.”

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