Bernard Matthews has announced the sale of its German subsidiary to the Sprehe Gruppe in a deal which the Norfolk-based business says will reduce its group debt by €14 million (£11.9m).
The German subsidiary, Bernard Matthews Oldenburg (BMO), is a wholly independent operation serving the German market with turkey and chicken products under the BM Oldenburg brand, with sales of some €45 million (£38m) a year.
The Sprehe Group, which was founded in 1987, is owned by Albert and Paul Sprehe and produces chicken, turkey and pork on multiple sites in Germany.
“The BMO business has flourished in the last few years but has also grown more independent of the UK Bernard Matthews business,” said Bernard Matthews. “It made strategic sense both for the UK group and for BMO to find a new owner who could bring the resource and strength in the German market that could exploit fully the BMO brand and operations. The proceeds from the sale will reduce group debt by €14 million.
“We are very pleased that Sprehe Group have bought the business and are sure the business and all of its people will prosper in this new ownership.”
Bernard Matthews’ chairman, Alan Jamieson, added: “The sale of this non-core business releases capital that will be useful to the UK operation as we continue to rebuild profitability and to invest in the UK’s leading turkey producer and only significant independent poultry brand.
“We look forward to a very busy Christmas as we put turkey on more than three million of the nation’s tables.”
Completion of the sale, which is subject to clearance by the German antitrust authorities, is anticipated to take place in August.