Irish food firm Kerry Group Plc said it would sell its British and Irish Consumer Foods’ Meats and Meals business to US poultry producer Pilgrim's Pride Corp for €819 million ($975 million).
The division, whose brands include Richmond, Denny and Galtee, earned profit before tax of €63 million ($75 million) last year on revenue of €828 million ($986 million), Kerry said. Pilgrim's Pride is one of the largest US poultry producers.
"Kerry Group plc today [17 June] announces that it has reached agreement to sell its Consumer Foods’ Meats and Meals business in the UK and Ireland to Pilgrim’s Pride Corporation for a cash consideration of 819 million euros subject to routine closing adjustments," the statement said.
The meals unit caters mainly to the UK market and offers ethnic chilled and frozen ready meals, multi-cuisine ready to cook ranges, and home delivery meals under the Oakhouse brand.
The meats business manufactures branded and private label meats, meat snacks, food-to-go and meat-free products in the UK and Ireland.
The sale allows Kerry to focus more on its core ingredients solutions business, Kerry chief executive Edmond Scanlon said.
"This transaction further enhances Kerry’s focus as a leading business to business ingredient solutions provider for the food, beverage and pharmaceutical markets," Scanlon said.
Pilgrim’s Pride CEO Fabio Sandri said the deal would allow it to position itself as a "leading prepared foods and branded products player."
The division employs 4,500 people, the Kerry statement said.
The proceeds from the transaction will be used for general corporate purposes and the continued strategic development of the Taste & Nutrition business, Kerry Group added.
The transaction, subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals, is expected to close in the final quarter.
Kerry Group will separate and realign the remaining dairy-related activities within its Consumer Foods Business.
The company recently announced that it has suspended discussions about the potential sale of some of its dairy assets to Kerry Co-Operative Creameries Limited.