Competition authorities approve Tulip acquisition of Easey Holdings

The Competition & Markets Authority has announced its approval of Tulip’s acquisition of pig producer Easey Holdings, with no further action necessary.

The acquisition, subject to competition approval, was announced in September.

Andrew Saunders, Agriculture Director at Tulip’s farming division, Tulip Agriculture, said: “This is great news for Tulip, for Easey Holdings, for our customers and our consumers.

“Tulip is a true champion of the UK pig farming industry while Danish Crown remains absolutely committed to continued inward investment into the UK.”

Easey Holdings is a family-owned pig farming operation consisting of four key divisions – breeding herds, growing herds, a veterinary practice and a livestock transport business. It operates more than 20,000 sows on indoor and outdoor units across the country. Buying in weaners, it also finishes 10,500 pigs a week.

When the acquisition was announced, the companies said Easey Holdings’ existing management team, now led by late founder Malcom’s sons Jon and Chris, will remain in place and continue to operate independently with all existing employees to be retained. Jon Easey said it was very much ‘business as usual’.

Mr Saunders said Tulip Agriculture would be working closely with the Easey management team, staff, farmers, suppliers and customers to ensure the continued successful operation of the Easey farming network as part of the Tulip Group.

Danish Crown is a cooperative owned by 7,600 Danish member farmers, which has operations across the world.

Tulip is already a major player in the industry, operating 17 manufacturing facilities across the UK, while also claiming to be, through BQP, ‘the UK’s leading pig farmer’, breeding and rearing 1.5 million pigs a year, with a 30% market share. BQP, part of Waitrose supplier Dalehead Foods, operates 250 mainly outdoor units in East Anglia, Lincolnshire, Yorkshire and the South West.

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Editor of LBM titles Pig World and Farm Business and group editor of Agronomist and Arable Farmer. National Pig Association's webmaster. Previously political editor at Farmers Guardian for many years and also worked Farmers Weekly. Occasional farming media pundit. Brought up on a Leicestershire farm, now work from a shed in the garden in Oxfordshire. Big fan of Leicester City and Leicester Tigers. Occasional cricketer.