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Poultry producer Bob Ingham will sell the 95-year-old family business Inghams to US-based private equity group TPG Capital for $850 million.

Ingham put the chickens business up for sale last June and appointed Investec Bank to manage the process of identifying a suitable buyer.

“My decision marks the next phase for the successful ongoing development of the company and is one that I, as sole shareholder, have considered for a number of years,” Ingham said at the time.

The poultry producer's day to day operations will continue as usual under the direction of chief executive officer Kevin McBain and his team.

"An important part of the decision for me was finding a buyer who would ensure that our customers will continue to receive the highest level of service and our employees would be well looked after," Ingham said in a statement this week.

"I believe I have found that in TPG."

Local food companies are proving popular acquisition targets for overseas private equity companies. In 2010, Hong-Kong based Affinity Equity Partners bought chicken firm Tegel Foods in New Zealand from private equity firm Pacific Equity Partners and in 2011, Primo Smallgoods joined forces with Affinity Equity Partners, which is now a major shareholder alongside the founding family.

The Ingham business was founded in 1918 in Sydney’s south-west by Walter Ingham. The small locally-based business was inherited by his sons, Jack and Bob, who built Inghams Enterprises into Australia's largest poultry producer.

It also operates in New Zealand.

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