John acted on behalf of the book retailer Eason on the notification to the CCPC of its acquisition of its competitor Dubray Books. The CCPC approved the acquisition under Irish Merger Control rules on 10 September 2020. The regulator did not impose any conditions in relation to approval and approval was granted in Phase 1.

The case raised a number of important procedural and competition issues under Irish Merger Control rules, including mandatory and voluntary notification and the review of competition issues in national and local markets. The case was also one of the first transactions involving competitors in which the CCPC reviewed the competition issues in the context of the current economic climate.

Dawn Meats/Dunbia

On 29 July 2020, the Irish beef and lamb processor Dawn Meats completed its acquisition of a 30% shareholding in Dunbia, a beef and lamb processor based in the UK. The 30% shareholding had been held by Mr Jim Dobson. As Dawn Meats already owned 70% of the shares in Dunbia, Dawn Meats now owns 100% of Dunbia.

John Meade advised Dawn Meats on the merger control aspects of the acquisition. In 2017 John had advised Dawn Meats and Dunbia on the merger control issues relating to the establishment of the Dunbia joint venture in which Dawn Meats and Jim Dobson, respectively, held 70% and 30% shareholdings. The initial transaction is reviewed further in the Case Study section.

Grafton Group Plc/Jarsen Distribution

John advised Grafton Group Plc on its acquisition of its competitor Jarsen Distribution. The case concerned the market in architectural hardware products in Ireland. The acquisition was approved by the CCPC on 4 February 2021.