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Irish pig meatpacker Dunbia joins Dawn Meats

Two Irish based meat processors have agreed to join forces and will form a new partnership operation that will span both the UK and Ireland.

Dunbia, based in Dungannon, County Tyrone, Northern Ireland, UK is set to join with Dawn Meats, based in the Republic of Ireland. Dunbia is involved in pig, lamb and cattle slaughtering; Dawn Meats is only into lambs and cattle.

Strategic partnership

Dawn Meats has agreed a strategic partnership with Dunbia to establish a majority owned joint venture in the United Kingdom comprising the UK operations of both organisations. Dawn Meats will separately take on Dunbia’s operations in Ireland.

Although an agreement has been announced, the overall deal is subject to approval by the relevant competition authorities.

Meatpacker Dunbia delivers British pork to supermarkets. This picture was not taken at a Dunbia plant. Photo: Bert Jansen
Meatpacker Dunbia delivers British pork to supermarkets. This picture was not taken at a Dunbia plant. Photo: Bert Jansen

Dawn Meats will have 9 facilities operational in Ireland, which will include 5 abattoirs, following the addition of 2 Dunbia plants – 1 abattoir in Slane, County Meath, and one boning hall in Kilbeggan, County Westmeath.

New name: Dunbia

The overall new operation will operate as Dunbia, and according to the companies, will deliver enhanced scale and market presence to better serve existing farmer suppliers and customers of both organisations across the retail, manufacturing, wholesale and food service sectors.

Heading up the new Dunbia joint venture as chief executive will be Jim Dobson, the current chief of Dunbia. Dawn Meats chief executive Niall Brown will be the executive director.

Dunbia’s existing headquarters in Dungannon will serve as the base for the new venture.

Heritage of excellence

Mr Dobson said: “This is the right strategic partnership for Dunbia’s staff and customers, and sees us joining with a company with a shared heritage of excellence in the production of premium beef and lamb products.

“The new UK joint venture confirms our future as a leading supplier in the UK market. In a consolidating industry this deal makes strategic sense for both companies, our customers and our farmer suppliers,” he added.

Uncertainty due to Brexit

Dawn Meats chief executive Niall Browne, said: “Given the uncertainty posed by Brexit, this partnership should further underpin the competitiveness of both operations to the benefit of all stakeholders in the UK, Ireland and across Europe.

“We are very excited about the future of both companies and the opportunities that this transaction will bring for our staff, customers and suppliers.”

Ireland, UK and France

Mr Browne continued to say, “In our key operating markets we will be involved in 3 leading national businesses; Dawn Meats in Ireland, Dunbia in the UK and Elivia in France, with our co-operative partners Terrena.”

Dawn Meats and Dunbia today process approximately 900,000 cattle and 2.6 million sheep annually combined.

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