Monday, May 27, 2024

Goodman pet food business gets €5m Enterprise Ireland grant

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Larry Goodman’s C&D Foods Unlimited, the pet food arm of his ABP Food Group, received a direct grant of €5 million from Enterprise Ireland .

The grant was made as a “remedy for a serious disturbance in the economy”, specifically to do with the effects of Covid-19 on the Irish economy, according to a European Commission state aid database.

A spokesperson for C&D Foods said, “We received grant support from Enterprise Ireland in relation to the expansion of our facility in Edgeworthstown. The details surrounding the grant are a matter for Enterprise Ireland.”

A spokesperson for Enterprise Ireland said the investment was made as part of the Covid-19 Temporary Aid Framework, which had “a specific provision to support company investment towards a sustainable recovery”.

The European Commission, the spokesperson said, “recognised that investment needs in the EU risked being significantly affected by the pandemic due to factors including higher uncertainty, supply-side constraints on investment (eg. shortages in raw materials, labour) and worsening financial conditions for firms”.

As part of the Covid-19 Sustainable Recovery Scheme, companies could obtain grant aid of up to €5 million per project up to the end of 2023, provided the projects “[reduced] carbon intensity through investment in CO2 carbon abatement technologies” and/or [drove] productivity improvements through investing in digitalisation technologies”.

C&D Foods was founded by former taoiseach Albert Reynolds, and later run by his son Philip Reynolds. Goodman’s company first took a 50 per cent stake in C&D in 2008, later increasing that over a number of years.

Goodman’s company bought out the last 15 per cent held by Philip Reynolds in 2019, leaving the company wholly controlled by ABP Food Group.

The company does not publish full sets of financial accounts, but at the time of the final sale of shares to ABP, Reynolds said in media reports that its annual revenues were around €500 million and that it employed around 1,500 people. Around 500 of those are based in Ireland.

More than 40 per cent of its trade was in the UK, with business operations in the Netherlands, Austria, Denmark, Spain, Italy and Germany.

Earlier this year the company announced it would be creating 100 jobs in Longford and Westmeath as part of a €48 million investment at its plant in Edgeworthstown, which is on the border of the two counties.

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