Sussex Mushrooms takeover under fair trading scrutiny

The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) is investigating the takeover by Monaghan Mushrooms, the UK's biggest mushroom producer, of Sussex Mushrooms.

The Northern Ireland-based company acquired the foundering Sussex Mushrooms business on 28 July, securing more than 400 local jobs in the process and allowing the site to continue production.

The move strengthened Monaghan's already strong position in the UK market, adding further supply to Asda and Morrisons to a customer list that already included most leading supermarkets.

It was also praised by local politicians in the Thakeham area for saving what could have been an economic disaster for the region.

However, at the end of last month (August) the trade watchdog launched its investigation into the merger to ensure that the takeover provokes "no competition or trade issues."

The OFT will be looking to determine whether the acquisition constitutes a "relevant merger situation" under the Enterprise Act and whether it creates a "substantial lessening of competition".

Monaghan Mushrooms chief executive Ronnie Wilson confirmed that the OFT was making informal enquiries into its acquisition of Sussex Mushrooms.

He said: "This is standard practice for the OFT and Monaghan continues to co-operate fully."

The investigation is similar to one carried out a year ago into the takeover by Hampshire-based salad giant Vitacress of the herb production side of Humber VHB.

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Sign up now
Already registered?
Sign in

Read These Next

Has vertical farming passed a peak on the 'hype cycle'?

Has vertical farming passed a peak on the 'hype cycle'?

Several senior industry figures sounded a note of caution on the potential of urban farms at last week's GreenTech international trade show in Amsterdam (12-14 June).

How can growers benefit by supporting agroforestry?

How can growers benefit by supporting agroforestry?

Agroforestry has the potential to deliver on a range of policy objectives in England, according to a new report from the Woodland Trust and the Soil Association.

How should perceived shortcomings in Defra's farming policy plans be addressed?

How should perceived shortcomings in Defra's farming policy plans be addressed?

The Government needs to provide much more detail on its post-Brexit farming policy if its twin aims of increasing farm competitiveness and enhancing the environment are to be met, according to a new report published this week by the parliamentary Environment, Food & Rural Affairs Committee.

Follow us on:
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Google +

Horticulture Week Top UK FRUIT PRODUCERS

See our exclusive ranking of fruit producers by annual turnover. 

Horticulture Jobs
More Horticulture Jobs

Pest & Disease Tracker bulletin 

The latest pest and disease alerts, how to treat them, plus EAMU updates, sent direct to your inbox.

Sign up here

Professor Geoffrey Dixon

GreenGene International chair Geoff Dixon on the business of fresh produce production

Read Professor Geoffrey Dixon