Watchdog to probe Tayto's acquisition of rival snack firm
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has launched an investigation into Tayto's acquisition of a rival pork snack company.
The Northern Ireland crisps and snacks giant bought The Real Pork Crackling Company Limited in June 2018.
It represented the second pork scratching product in the portfolio of the Tandragee-based company.
Tayto already owned Mr Porky prior to the acquisition.
However, the CMA confirmed yesterday that it was probing the merger.
It followed an initial enforcement notice served on Tayto Group Limited and its parent company Manderley Food Group Limited on July 18, 2018.
The CMA said it had "reasonable grounds for suspecting that it is or may be the case that Tayto Group Limited and The Real Pork Crackling Company Limited have ceased to be distinct".
The body said it was considering whether the merger resulted, or may be expected to result, in "a substantial lessening of competition in any market or markets in the UK".
Yesterday the CMA issued a fresh statement confirming that it had "sufficient information" in relation to the merger to allow it to launch an investigation.
It said it would decide by November 15, 2018 on whether to make the merger subject to what it calls a "phase two investigation".
At the time of the merger in June Tayto said that the former owner of The Real Pork Crackling Company, Chris Cunliffe, would continue to lead the business.
It added that he would be taking on a wider role as chief operating officer for pork products within the Tayto Group.
The merger came on the back of Tayto's purchase of Maghera popcorn company Pop Notch, with production moving to Devon, where it already owns Portlebay Popcorn.