Boparan Private Office has bought the Bernard Matthews poultry business with the promise that it will “respect and build on the 66-year heritage of a much-loved British brand”.
A private investment company owned by Ranjit Singh, who also owns the 2 Sisters Food Group, the Boparan Private Office acquisition comes four months after Bernard Matthews’ owners, Rutland Partners, brought in PriceWaterhouse Coopers to seek potential buyers.
“We intend to respect and build on the 66-year heritage of a much-loved British brand,” said a Boparan spokesman. “We have a proven track record in turning around businesses and we aim to make Bernard Matthews great again.”
While the poultry industry starts to digest the news, the NFU has already urged any union members who are affected by sale to contact them with details.
“Bernard Matthews is an iconic name in the turkey sector and has been for the past 66 years,” said NFU chief poultry adviser, Gary Ford. “It is now important for staff and customers, as we approach the busy Christmas period, that this key supplier of great British turkey meat continues to trade.”
He also said: “Given that part of the business involves the ongoing rearing of turkeys, we recognise that a quick sale of the business was expedient. However, we also recognise that as a result of this arrangement, a number of suppliers, some of which will be NFU members, will have lost out financially.”
The workers union, Unite, which represents 800 of the company’s 2000 workers commented that it would be seeking clarification on a range of issues following the sale.