Dutch food and animal feed group Nutreco has said it has signed a principle agreement to sell its pork processing business Hendrix Meat Group to Best Agrifund for €75m (US$92.3m).

Hendrix Meat Group, based in the Netherlands, is a producer of pork products with an annual turnover of €450m and around 1,100 employees at six sites in Druten, Emmen, Meppel, Hoogeveen, Beilen and Someren. The company specialises in the production of prepacked fresh meat for Benelux supermarket chains, bacon for the UK market and special products such as hams for the Italian and other EU markets.

"Hendrix Meat Group does not have sufficient resources to grow into a prominent European player within Nutreco," said Juergen Steinemann, chief operating officer of Nutreco Agriculture.

Nutreco is currently carrying out a "strategic reorientation" aimed at focusing on core activities in which the company occupies leading positions, improving the return on investment and introducing greater stability into the company's financial results.

"Along with the signing of an agreement with Stolt-Nielsen to merge the two companies' fish farming activities, announced by Nutreco on 13 September 2004, the disposal of Hendrix Meat Group announced today is the next important step to be taken by Nutreco as part of the strategic reorientation," the company said.