The Competition Authority has confirmed that it is investigating the proposed takeover of Edgeworthstown pet food manufacturer C&D Foods by Anglo Irish Beef Processors, owned by Larry Goodman.
The Authority told the Leader this week that the investigation was “standard procedure”.
“If the company has more than an annual turnover of €40m it is then mandatory to notify the Competition Authority for approval,” said the spokeswoman. Interested parties have until Thursday (May 26) to make submissions with the first phase of the Competition Authority’s investigation expected to be completed by June 15.
“Ninety-eight per cent of all mergers are cleared at that stage,” the spokesperson added. “If it does go any further it ( the investigation) will take an additional three months.”
It means that any takeover of the petfood operator, which is part owned by Philip Reynolds and Mr Goodman’s Anglo Irish Beef Processors (AIBPS), could be sealed within three weeks.
For his part, Philip Reynolds of C&D Foods said the planned restructuring of the firm was yet further evidence of the company’s intention to expand.
The takeover, allied to C&D’s acquisition of a canning factory in Amsterdam last year, would strengthen its ability to make inroads both at domestic and mainland European market level, he stated.
“We had an agreement three years ago that we would sit down and review things and to see if there was a need to change the shareholding structure,” he said.
Mr Reynolds said the plan had as much to do with capitalising on lucrative overseas markets as it did on the difficulties many businesses face in accessing credit from cash-strapped Irish banks.
He also stressed it was his firm intention to stay on as managing director of C&D Foods which currently employs around 400 people.
“With this (takeover) I see further opportunities to develop the business further in mainland Europe.
“But there is no doubt that we see Edgeworthstown as the headquarters of the business going forward. From a business point of view the takeover couldn’t be better,” he said.
Goodman’s AIBP has owned a stake, believed to be around 50 per cent, in C&D Foods since 2008.