UK Watchdog Clears Mega Dairy Merger

The UK’s competition body has cleared the merger of Medina Dairy with Freshways Dairy after putting the proposed deal under the microscope in February.

Medina, based in Windsor, Berkshire, and Freshways in London operate in similar categories such as fresh milk, butter, cheese, eggs, bread and juices. While the planned merger was revealed last July, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said the business combination has been in “contemplation since at least May 2019”.

After reviewing Medina’s financial accounts over the last five years, the CMA noted the company has been in “financial difficulty since at least 2018” and has approved the deal with Freshways in the face of no other viable alternative for the business.

The CMA said Medina had undertaken a number of initiatives with Freshways since 2018, including “rationalising its distribution network” through depot closures and entering into distribution arrangements with the partner company. It has also outsourced processing and packaging of milk to Freshways and set up a joint purchasing agreement for bread and dairy products.

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