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Bernard Matthews dismisses takeover talk

Bernard Matthews dismisses takeover talk

Turkey processing giant Bernard Matthews has denied that it is looking to sell a stake in the business to attract investment, according to reports.

An article in the Sunday TImes published on June 16th suggested that the Norfolk-based firm was on the verge of being taken over by 2 Sisters, the largest chicken processing firm in the UK.

But the company has reportedly told the Eastern Daily Press that it is not looking to sell, despite a difficult recent spell that has seen the firm cut a number of jobs and witnessed the departures of three senior managers.

Chairman David McCall, as well as chief executive Noel Bertram and managing director Rob Mears have all left the company, with Dave Joll being installed back into his role as the firm's executive chairman.

The business said yesterday that it was still committed to "exploring a range of options with PWC to accelerate the company’s existing growth strategy and infrastructure developments".

"All the options will only be evaluated once the process is completed."

Bernard Matthews was first founded during the 1950s and was named after its founder, who died in 2010.

There are currently ongoing plans among the company's hierarchy to cut around 55 jobs at its Great Witchingham cooked meats factory, which currently employs up to 500 people. .

Meanwhile 2 Sisters, which has reportedly denied to comment on the rumours surrounding a potential deal, recently purchased the poultry side of European meat and food giant Vion Foods, which has been combined with a previous acquirement for Northern Foods.

Julian Wild, food group director at legal firm Rollits, told "I can’t say I’m surprised.

"There’s no doubt Ranjit [Boparan] is on a roll with 2 Sisters. He’s trying to grow that group very rapidly.

He added: "He would have a look at anything else in the poultry field."


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