ABP sells Silvercrest facility to Kepak Group

Shaun Weston18 Apr 2013

The ABP Food Group has taken the strategic decision to exit the frozen burger sector in Ireland, and as a consequence it has sold its Silvercrest facility at Ballybay, Co Monaghan to Kepak Group, subject to Competition Authority approval.

The sale involves the transfer of the 122 staff currently employed at Silvercrest. Throughout the last three months, ABP has maintained the Silvercrest staff on full pay while the future of the plant was resolved.

"The decision to sell the facility is the right one for both the wider Group and also for the 122 employees at the Co Monaghan site who transfer as part of the deal," said Paul Finnerty, chief executive, ABP Food Group. "Our decision to sell the Ballybay facility allows the Group to move forward positively with our core chilled beef business and other developing businesses.

"I would like to take this opportunity to thank the workforce at Silvercrest for their dedication and hard work over the years, and to wish them well with their new employer.

“It has become apparent that the ABP Food Group was only one of a large number of leading European operations affected by the equine issue. The issue affected frozen burgers which are not core to the Group’s future business strategy.

"The company confirms that its chilled business (which is the core activity for the Group) has been unaffected by the horse meat issue, and sales of its chilled beef products have remained unaffected. Irish beef is held in the highest regard internationally and, as Europe’s largest beef exporter, ABP Food Group will continue to invest in expanding and developing this and the other businesses within the Group."

The company employs 8,000 people in 36 facilities in eight countries, of which 2,500 are employed in Ireland. In the past three years, the company has invested €150m in the expansion and development of its businesses in Ireland and abroad.

The terms of the transaction are confidential.