French co-operative Terrena has agreed to relinquish a 49% in its beef and pork arm Elivia to Irish meat processor Dawn Meats.

The stake could rise to 70% by 2018-2019. The value of the transaction has not been disclosed.

Following consultations with personnel, the agreement will be submitted to France's competition regulator in the first quarter of 2015 for approval.

"Size is all-important in making a mark in international markets," said Niall Browne, CEO of Dawn Meats. "This agreement will give our two groups the necessary scale to drive steady export growth. We are set on developing the activity of Dawn Meats in Ireland and on the international front. This rapprochement with Elivia is an excellent opportunity to meet this objective," he added.

At the same time, Terrena has announced an investment programme for Elivia over the next three years focusing on the modernisation of its production plants.