Kerry Group's deal to sell its meat and ready meals business to US company Pilgrim's Pride has been cleared by the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission.

The €819m cash deal was first announced in June.

The Commission said the deal will not substantially lessen competition in any market for goods or services in the State.

Kerry's meats business includes branded and private label meats, meat snacks, food-to-go and meat-free products in the UK and Ireland.

The brands include Denny, Galtee, Richmond, Fridge Raiders and Rollover.

The meals business primarily serves the UK market, providing products to a range of chilled and frozen ready meals as well as home delivery and ready to cook meals to retailers including Sainsburys and Tesco.

Kerry said the sale is part of its stated strategy to aggressively focus activities on its taste and nutrition divisions.

4,500 staff work in the businesses that have been sold, with around 3,000 of those in the UK.

The operations include large plants in Shillelagh in Co Wicklow and Carrickmacross in Co Monaghan, while around 300 are employed in Northern Ireland where there is a factory in Enniskillen.

A spokesman said the vast majority of staff would transfer over to Pilgrim's Pride as part of the transaction, including CEO of Kerry Consumer Foods, Nick Robinson.

Pilgrim's Pride provides food products to customers in more than 100 countries and employs around 58,000 people.

The deal with Kerry Group is expected to close in the last quarter of the year.