The merger was initially signed off between the two companies in March, with plans to shift liquid egg production from Noble’s Bilsthorpe site to Manton’s Harrogate and Gainsborough processing sites, according to Farmers Weekly. However, the CMA later intervened 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.” However, the CMA has now revealed that a decision to allow the merger to proceed has been made.
The full report of the CMA review is not expected to be made public for several weeks.
Noble Foods was formed in 2006 following the merger of Stonegate Farmers with Deans Foods. But that merger was referred to the agency then known as the Competition Commission, which ruled in April 2007 that Noble must sell Stonegate to create a viable competitor. Noble Foods’ brands include the happy egg co, One Good Egg, Eggs for Soldiers and Big & Fresh. The company also has a poultry processing facility and five feed mills, according to the WATT Global Media Top Companies Database.