Decision Nº M/04/012 from Competition and Consumer Protection Commission, 2004-03-23

CourtCompetition and Consumer Protection Commission (Ire)
PartiesGlanbia,Milk Link
Date23 March 2004
Decision NumberM/04/012
StatusPreliminary investigation (Phase 1)
Decision Date23 March 2004
1
Determination No. M/04/012 of the Competition Authority, dated 23rd March
Notification No. M/04/012 – Proposal by Glanbia plc and Milk Link Investments
Limited to create a joint venture known as Cheese Company Holdings Limited
Introduction
1. On 23rd February 2004 the Competition Authority, in accordance with Section 18
(1) of the Competition Act, 2002 (“the Act”) was notified, on a mandatory basis,
of a proposed joint venture to be known as Cheese Company Limited between
Glanbia plc and Milk Link Limited. In fact the structure of the transaction is as
follows: Milk Link Investments Limited (Milk Link Investments) and Waterford
Foods International Limited (“Waterford”), a wholly owned subsidiary of
Glanbia plc, would create a joint venture company for the purpose of acquiring
from Waterford the entire issued share capital of Glanbia Foods Limited (Glanbia
Foods). The joint venture company, to be known as the Cheese Company
Limited (CCH) would be owned 75 per cent by Milk Link Investments and 25
per cent by Glanbia. CCH will be the second largest cheese producer in the UK,
with strong positions in cheddar, Stilton and British territorial cheeses, supplying
the retail, food service and ingredient sectors. It will operate four cheese
processing facilities and a consumer packing facility in Great Britain. Milk Link
Limited, part of the Milk Link Group will enter into a supply agreement with
Glanbia Foods to supply milk to the joint venture.
The Undertakings Involved
2. Glanbia is an international dairy, consumer foods and nutritional products
company based primarily in Ireland, the UK and the US and quoted on the Dublin
and London stock exchanges. Glanbia is a major international cheese
manufacturer.
3. Milk Link Investments is part of the Milk Link Group, which is one of the largest
dairy businesses in the UK. Milk Link Limited is owned by 2,400 farmers across
the South of England and its processing business includes long life milk, long life
and fresh cream, soft cheese and yoghurt.
4. Glanbia Foods is a company incorporated in England and Wales and is Britain’s
second largest producer of cheddar, Stilton and British territorial cheeses.
Analysis
5. The target company Glanbia Foods is based in the UK and does not supply
customers in Ireland. The transaction involves a structural change whereby the
target company will become part of a joint venture which will be 75% owned by
a group whose activities are primarily outside the jurisdiction. The creation of
CCH will allow the Milk Link Group to move into the cheese production

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