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Moy Park to buy key rival, deal of £26 mln

Moy Park, the Northern Ireland poultry processor owned by the Brazilian food group Marfrig, is to acquire one of its closest rival firms in the North in a deal worth £26 mln.

Moy Park has bought the family-owned O’Kane Poultry business, which is based in Ballymena, Northern Ireland, reports the Irish Times.

In a statement, Marfrig confirmed it intended to acquire 100% of the O’Kane company “for the amount of £13 mln due on the closing date and equal amount in June 2011”. Marfrig said the finance for the acquisition had been “internally generated by Moy Park and it is already available there”.

O'Kane Poultry, which has been in business since 1932, is one of the North’s largest poultry processing companies. Its assets, which have been acquired by Moy Park, include 2 hatcheries, a feed mill, a primary and further processing plant, and a laboratory testing facility.

Marfrig has not commented on whether there will be any restructuring that could result in redundancies at O’Kane following the acquisition.

The buyover is subject to both due diligence and regulatory approval but it is expected to be formally approved by early autumn.

O’Kane, which processes in the region of 120,000 chickens and 5,000 turkeys per day, is a key supplier to the retail and food sector and counts Marks Spencer as one of its largest customers.

Last year the company, which employs more than 1,500 people, reported net revenues of £132 million.

Source: Irish Times

Natalie Berkhout

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