The sale of New Zealand chicken group Tegel Foods to Hong Kong investment firm Affinity Equity Partners looks poised for completion.

A deal that would see Affinity acquire control of Tegel parent company Nz Poultry Enterprises Ltd (NZPEL) for a reported NZ$605m (US$465m) received approval from New Zealand’s Overseas Investment Office late last week (31 March).

In a statement, the OIO said Affinity wanted to “assist Tegel to reach its full potential through further expansion including expanding Tegel’s product range”.

Pacific Equity Partners bought Tegel from Heinz six years ago for NZ$250m and still retains a 43% stake. ANZ Entities ownes 30% of the group and the remainder is held by Tegel management and investment firms Lujeta Pty Ltd and Intermediate Capital Group .

Tegel currently controls about 52% of New Zealand’s fresh and frozen chicken market. It ownes breeding and processing facilities in South Auckland, Taranaki and Canterbury, employing about 1500 people.

Tegel made a tax-paid profit of NZ$22.6m for the year to end-April 2010 on revenue of NZ$401.7m.