Kerry Group plc has announced it has agreed to sell its Consumer Foods’ Meats and Meals business in the UK and Ireland to Pilgrim’s Pride Corporation for €819m.

The sale of Kerry’s dairy business, which has been the subject of much wrangling in the last year, has now been shelved, according to Kerry Group.

The Meats and Meals business had a revenue of €828m, EBITDA of €86m, profit before tax of €63m, and gross assets of €521m² last year. It has 4,500 employees.

Kerry Group said the proceeds from the sale “will be used for general corporate purposes and the continued strategic development of the taste and nutrition business”.

It added that following the sale announcement, it would separate and realign the remaining dairy-related activities within the consumer foods business.

“The strategic review of the dairy business has been completed and there will be no disposal of the dairy business at this time.”

What’s being sold?

The meat brands being sold include Richmond, Denny, Galtee, Fridge Raiders and Rollover, while the meals business primarily serves the UK market and specialises in authentic ethnic chilled and frozen ready meals, multi-cuisine ready-to-cook ranges, and home delivery meals under the Oakhouse brand.

Kerry Group in Naas, Co Kildare.

Edmond Scanlon, CEO of Kerry, said: “Kerry’s strategy for the past 30 years has been to continuously evolve our portfolio, as we progressed on our journey to becoming a market-leading taste and nutrition company.

“This transaction further enhances Kerry’s focus as a leading business to business ingredient solutions provider for the food, beverage and pharmaceutical markets.

“Pilgrim’s is a global provider of high-quality food products and I am convinced they will make an excellent future owner of the Meats and Meals business. I wish to thank the 4,500 employees of the business for their contribution to Kerry over many years.”

Fabio Sandri, CEO of Pilgrim’s, said it was pleased to have the opportunity to position Pilgrim’s as a leading prepared foods and branded products player through this acquisition.

“We look forward to welcoming Kerry Consumer Foods’ Meats and Meals business’s talented management team and other team members, led by Nick Robinson, to the Pilgrim’s family, and we look forward to working together to drive growth and deliver value for all of our stakeholders,” he said.