HJ Heinz has completed the sale of Tegel Foods, its New Zealand-based poultry business, to Australian private equity firm Pacific Equity Partners. The transaction was valued at NZ250m (US$165m).

The sale is in-line with Heinz's strategy to divest non-core businesses and focus on ketchups and sauces, meals and snacks and infant nutrition.

Heinz chairman, president and CEO William Johnson noted: "This divestiture continues the execution of our strategic plan, which is aimed at making Heinz a more focused, faster-growing and higher-margin company. We expect total proceeds from our programme of strategic divestitures to be approximately $1bn.

"Recent divestitures have included our seafood businesses in Europe and Israel, HAK(R) vegetables in the Netherlands, and HP Ethnic Foods in the UK and, in December, we sold our stake in The Hain Celestial Group, Inc. We have identified a number of other non-core assets which we intend to divest over the next six to twelve months."