Kerry Group has been given the green light to purchase Breeo Foods, whose brands include Dairygold spread and Galtee bacon, after the Irish High Court overturned the Competition Authority of Ireland’s attempt to block the deal.

Kerry, which operates in the ingredients goods sector and owns the Cheestrings and Richmond sausages brands, announced its intention to acquire Breeo in March 2008. However, the Competition Authority thwarted the deal - one of only three times it had ever stopped a merger - claiming the acquisition would “substantially lessen competition” in the market.

Following yesterday’s ruling, Kerry Group chief executive, Stan McCarthy, said the acquisition would now go ahead for €140m, which is reduced from the €165m originally announced in March 2008. McCarthy said he looked forward to adding Breeo’s dairy and meat brands to Kerry’s portfolio. 

“I believe we can achieve significant synergies in combining both chilled foods’ businesses which will benefit all stakeholders including consumers,” he said. 

The Competition Authority said it was reviewing yesterday’s judgment and is understood to have a right of appeal to the Supreme Court on a point of law.

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