Boparan confirms acquisition of Bernard Matthews

Boparan Private Office has agreed terms for its acquisition of Bernard Matthews in a pre-pack administration deal. 

In a statement from Boparan Private Office, it revealed that an agreement has been reached in the sale of the Bernard Matthews business and 2,000 jobs have been secured.

A spokesman for Boparan Private Office said: “This acquisition will create a strong platform for future growth and ensures Bernard Matthews is well positioned to develop into a sustainable, growing business.

“We intend to respect and build on the 66-year heritage of a much-loved British brand and crucially help to deliver Christmas 2016, which would have been at risk without our intervention. We have a proven track record in turning around businesses and we aim to make Bernard Matthews great again.

“This deal is ultimately good news for UK consumers and our customers, who will benefit from a secure supply of British turkey from one of the most recognisable brands in the UK.”

Dan Butters, joint administrator and partner in Deloitte’s Restructuring Services practice, which was appointed to oversee the pre-pack sale, said: “This famous 65-year old brand had been operating in a challenging market for some time, and today’s announcement is a positive outcome for the business and the brand. We are pleased that all the jobs have been preserved and the business can make a fresh start with new owners.”

In a statement, Rutland Partners, owner of Bernard Matthews, said: "We have invested significant funds into the Bernard Matthews business and brand over the last three years in a continually challenging market.

"Whilst disappointed that the business has continued to struggle during our ownership we are pleased that it has now been acquired by Ranjit Boparan with access to a large, UK poultry group and that all the jobs have been preserved."

However, there are still concerns over Bernard Matthews' pension scheme which is so far set to pass into the Pension Protection Fund.

As the acquisition was being finalised, trades union Unite's regional officer Steve Harley said: "Unite is meeting the company tomorrow where searching questions will be asked on future employment, pay, and terms and conditions. 

“We will also be asking about the status of the pension scheme under the new owners, although it is expected that our members won’t be affected in this respect by today’s takeover. Bernard Matthews is a major employer in East Anglia and the union wants to work constructively with the new ownership to ensure the continuing success of this iconic company.”

However, it cautiously welcomed the news that the jobs of Bernard Matthews' 2,000 staff looked set to be saved by the deal.

Earlier this year, 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. 

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