Dawn Meats & Dunbia Agree Strategic Partnership

Dawn Meats & Dunbia Agree Strategic Partnership
Dawn Meats & Dunbia Agree Strategic Partnership
may 24

Dawn Meats has agreed a strategic partnership with Dunbia to establish a majority owned joint venture [‘JV’] in the United Kingdom comprising the UK operations of both organisations. Dawn will separately acquire Dunbia’s operations in the Republic of Ireland. The deal is subject to approval by the relevant competition authorities.

In Ireland, Dawn Meats will have 9 facilities (including 5 abattoirs), following the addition of two complementary Dunbia facilities - one abattoir in Slane, and one boning hall in Kilbeggan.

The combined UK businesses will trade as Dunbia and will deliver enhanced scale and market presence to better serve existing farmer suppliers and customers of both organisations across the retail, manufacturing, wholesale and food service sectors.  The businesses are highly complementary, and will offer customers regionally sourced solutions for both beef and lamb from 15 facilities across Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Dunbia’s CEO Jim Dobson, OBE will be CEO of the new Dunbia JV, and Dawn Meats’ CEO Niall Browne, will be Executive Chairman. The JV will be run from Dunbia’s existing headquarters in Dungannon, Northern Ireland.

Commenting, Niall Browne, CEO of Dawn Meats said:

“We are both family businesses with a deep connection to farming and a culture and business ethos that is centered on quality and sustainability.   Given the uncertainty posed by Brexit, this partnership should further underpin the competiveness of both operations to the benefit of all stakeholders in the UK, Ireland and across Europe.”

“We are very excited about the future of both companies and the opportunities that this transaction will bring for our staff, customers and suppliers. In our key operating markets we will be involved in 3 leading national businesses with Dawn Meats in Ireland, Dunbia in the UK and Elivia in France, with our cooperative partners Terrena.”

Jim Dobson, CEO of Dunbia said:

“This is the right strategic partnership for Dunbia’s staff and customers, and sees us joining with a company with a shared heritage of excellence in the production of premium beef and lamb products. The new UK joint venture confirms our future as a leading supplier in the UK market. In a consolidating industry this deal makes strategic sense for both companies, our customers and our farmer suppliers.”

Across Dawn Meats and Dunbia, the businesses process approximately 900,000 cattle and 2.6 million sheep annually. 

Dawn Meats is a premium meat processor and supplier of choice of premium Irish and British red meat to a range of leading supermarket, food service and restaurants businesses in Ireland and the UK and is exporting to 48 countries around the world.  Dawn Meats is also a 49% shareholder in Elivia, the number 2 beef processor in France, which processes approximately 500,000 cattle annually.

Dunbia is a leading processor of beef and lamb with 9 sites located across the UK and Ireland, employing around 4,000 people. The company is one of Northern Ireland’s largest privately owned companies and currently exports to 36 countries worldwide.


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About Dawn Meats

Dawn Meats is the supplier of choice to a range of leading supermarket, food service and restaurant businesses, exporting to 48 countries. As a family-owned business Dawn remains true to its farming heritage through the close relationships it has forged with the 20,000 British and Irish farmers from whom it directly sources grass-fed cattle and lamb for processing at its 7 Irish and 8 British plants. Dawn Meats was established in 1980, and has grown to a business with over £1bn in annual revenue, employing over 3,300 staff in eight countries. The company works with some of the world’s leading food companies who are attracted by a commitment to sustainability and quality.


Dawn Meats was awarded gold stars for five products at the 2016 Great Taste Awards including a 3-star and Top 50 Foods classification for its ‘Ridings Reserve Marbled Standing Rib’. Among its other awards in 2016 were Best Pigmeat Product at the Meat Management Awards; Best Beef Product at the SuperMeat & Fish Awards; and Best Ready Meal at the SuperMeat & Fish Awards. For further information, visit www.dawnmeats.com


About Dunbia

Brothers Jim and Jack Dobson founded Dunbia in 1976 as a butchers shop in Dungannon, Northern Ireland. A combination of organic growth, strategic acquisition and entrepreneurial vision has seen Dunbia expand to a multi-site, multi-species operation with 9 sites located across the UK and Ireland, employing around 4,000 people. It is one of Northern Ireland’s largest privately owned companies and currently exports to 36 countries worldwide, with a turnover in 2016/17 of £800 million.

Dunbia is committed to sustainable food production, operating a fully integrated supply chain servicing local, national and international retail markets, alongside commercial and food service markets. Recent awards include: the ‘UK’s Best Training Scheme’ for its in-house butchery academy, awarded by the Worshipful Company of Butchers and the Institute of Meat (2017); ‘Best Lamb Product’ at the Meat Management Awards (2015); ‘Manufacturer of the Year’ at the Meat Management Awards (2015); ‘Grocer Own Label Silver Award’ for Premium Welsh Lamb Chump Steak (2016); and  ‘Gold Award’ at the UK Quality Food Awards 2016. For further information visit www.dunbia.com