Noble Foods takeover of Mantons OK to go ahead

Noble Foods’ acquisition of egg processing business Mantons has been given the all clear by the Competition and Markets Authority, following a 40-day review of the case.

The merger was initially signed off between the two companies in March of this year, with plans set in motion to shift liquid egg production from Noble’s Bilsthorpe site to Manton’s Harrogate and Gainsborough processing sites.

But the CMA then stepped in and imposed an interim enforcement order to prevent any further integration of the two businesses, in order to assess any competition issues in the UK market.

The two companies were ordered to carry on their activities separately “on the basis of their respective pre-merger business plans”. The actual inquiry kicked off on 25 June.

See more: Noble-Manton merger put on hold

A brief notice from the CMA has now revealed that a decision to allow the merger to proceed was made on 19 August, without any need for a full-blown inquiry. The full report of the review is not expected to be published for several weeks, added a spokeswoman.

Noble Foods was formed in 2006 following the merger of Stonegate Farmers with Deans Foods. But that merger was referred to the then Competition Commission, which ruled in April 2007 that Noble must sell Stonegate, to create a viable competitor.