The ABP Food Group has agreed a deal to sell the Silvercrest facility at Ballybay, Co Monaghan, as part of its plan to exit the frozen burger sector in Ireland.

The company is being sold to the Kepak Group, subject to Competition Authority approval.

The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

ABP said the sale involves the transfer of the 122 staff currently employed at Silvercrest.

It added that during the last three months since the horsemeat controversy emerged, ABP has maintained the Silvercrest staff on full pay while the future of the plant was resolved.

''The decision to sell the facility is the right one for both the wider group and also for the 122 employees at the Co Monaghan site who transfer as part of the deal,'' commented Paul Finnerty, ABP Food Group's chief executive.

''Our decision to sell the Ballybay facility allows the group to move forward positively with our core chilled beef business and other developing businesses,'' he added.

ABP employs 8,000 people in 36 facilities in eight countries, of which 2,500 are employed in Ireland.

It has invested €150m in the expansion and development of its businesses in Ireland and abroad in the past three years.

Commenting on the deal, Kepak said the Ballybay plant would complement its existing burger and convenience foods business strategy.

Kepak's managing director John Horgan said he is looking forward to returning the facility to full production in the coming months.