Dáil Éireann - Volume 383 - 19 October, 1988

Ceisteanna — Questions Oral Answers - Proposed Takeover of Master Meats.

62. Mr. J. Bruton asked the Minister for Industry and Commerce if he has made any investigations, or has asked the Director of Fair Trade to make any investigations into the proposed takeover [40] of Master Meats by other interests in the meat trade; and if the beneficial ownership of these interests has been or can be, fully established under existing powers.

Mr. Reynolds: The Mergers, Takeovers and Monopolies (Control) Act, 1978, as amended, requires the enterprises involved in a proposed merger or takeover which comes within the scope of the Act, to notify me as soon as may be after a proposal is made. Upon receipt of a notification and after examination of the proposal I can either approve it, without reference to the Fair Trade Commission, or refer it to the Commission for Investigation in relation to the scheduled criteria in the Act.

To date the proposal involving the takeover of Master Meats has not been notified to me in accordance with the Act. However, on receipt of such notification I am entitled to require the full disclosure of the control of the enterprises involved and I am satisfied that I have the powers necessary to enable me to do so.

Until I have had an opportunity to fully examine any notification made I could not comment on whether or not I would refer it to the Fair Trade Commission for investigation. I can however assure the House that I will use all of the resources at my disposal to rigorously examine any notification made.

Mr. J. Bruton: What could or would the Minister do in the event that the merger went ahead without any notification to him?

Mr. Reynolds: As a former Minister for Industry and Commerce, I am sure the Deputy is aware that the situation is that no execution of the deeds of transfer can take place without clearance under the Mergers and Monopolies Act.

An Ceann Comhairle: May I ask that Question No. 63, Deputy Spring's question, be replied to?