Bernard Matthews up for sale

Turkey producer Bernard Matthews has been put up for sale, according to the BBC.

It was reported that employees received an email from Rutland Partners, who invested in Bernard Matthews in 2013, saying that the firm had appointed consultants PriceWaterouseCoopers (PwC) to look for potential buyers. Employees were told that internal operations will not be affected.

The news comes after a turbulent period for the company. In January, Bernard Matthews reported a fall in sales with figures submitted to Companies House, showing annual sales for the period ending 28 June 2015 of 277m, down from 307m the previous year. Meanwhile, net assets for the period were 11m compared to 21m in 2014.

The business faced accusations in May that it had laid off employees, to which a spokesperson responded: Bernard Matthews has had a small redundancy programme to adapt the business to current needs, but otherwise the business continues as usual.

Workers union Unite has called for clarity over the future of the 2,000-strong workforce employed by Bernard Matthews, calling it a 'worrying time'.

Unite will meet with management at the companys Great Witchingham headquarters in Norfolk next month.

It is a worrying time for our members and we will be seeking clarity on what this means for the company and the workers when we meet management on Friday 15 July, said Unite regional officer Steve Harley.

Unite recognises that Bernard Matthews is in a very competitive marketplace with profit margins being squeezed. This issue is one of the managements marketing and sales team to address as a matter of urgency.

Our members are dedicated and hardworking, and have contributed to the companys long-standing success with its iconic name and Unite will do everything possible to support them during this period of uncertainty.

Meat Trades Journal has approached both PwC and Bernard Matthews about this latest development, neither of which was able to provide comment at this time.

The union said that it was a worrying time for employees, after the owners, Rutland Partners appointed PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC) to look for possible buyers.

Unite, which represents about 450 of the 2,000-strong workforce, will be raising its concerns with management at the companys Great Witchingham headquarters in Norfolk on Friday 15 July.

Unite regional officer Steve Harley said: It is a worrying time for our members and we will be seeking clarity on what this means for the company and the workers when we meet management on Friday 15 July.

Unite recognises that Bernard Matthews is in a very competitive marketplace with profit margins being squeezed. This issue is one for the managements marketing and sales team to address as a matter of urgency.

Our members are dedicated and hardworking, and have contributed to the companys long-standing success with its iconic name and Unite will do everything possible to support them during this period of uncertainty.

Unites members are based at the producing sites at Great Witchingham and Holton in Suffolk, as well as the animal food mill at Bawsey, near Kings Lynn. - See more at: http://www.unitetheunion.org/news/unite-seeks-clarity-on-future-of-turkey-producers-bernard-matthews/#sthash.HCLkjIvC.dpuf

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