HJ Heinz has sold its private-label frozen desserts business in the UK to PoleStar Foods.

The sales includes two manufacturing sites in Okenhamption, Devon, and Leamington Spa, Warwickshire.

The business manufactures a variety of desserts, including cheesecakes, fruit pies and crumbles and ambient meringues.

The sale also includes the American Dream and Devonshire desserts brands and a co-pack agreement for PoleStar to produce Weight Watchers from Heinz, Heinz and Ross branded frozen desserts.

PoleStar Foods will also produce and sell Alveston Kitchens products under licence from Heinz.

All of the 580 employees across the two sites will transfer to PoleStar Foods.

This "strategic sale" of a non-core business is a "positive development" that will enable Heinz to focus on accelerating the growth of its core branded ambient and frozen products, a spokesperson for the group said.

PoleStar Foods is a newly-formed company established by John Gibson and Keith Ellis specifically for the acquisition of the Heinz Frozen Desserts business. The company hopes that the deal will enable further development of the frozen desserts category.