Bernard Matthews, based in East Anglia, raises and processes close to seven million birds per annum in the UK. It also operates a meat processing businesses in Germany and Hungary.
Despite enjoying a significant market position in the UK poultry industry with a strong brand, Bernard Matthews has faced what it dfescribes as “trading challenges” in recent years. David Joll, its former CEO until 2006, has recently been brought back into the business as executive chairman.
David Wingfield, partner of Rutland, said, “We are excited to be investing in the leading turkey producer in the UK, which has such a widely recognised brand. We have been impressed by the energy and passion of the team at all levels of the business and are looking forward to the prospect of working with them under David’s leadership to enable the business to reach its full potential.”
Joll added,“We are delighted with the new investors and warmly welcome Rutland to the business. It has been well documented that we have been looking into a range of funding options to help develop the business, but we wanted a partner who understood the company and were committed to helping us grow. Rutland fit this model perfectly, as from the outset they have seen real potential in the business.
“With Rutland’s investment, restructuring skills and support the business will be in a strong position to invest in its farming and operational assets. In addition, we will continue to focus on business improvement combined with product innovation and investment in our brand.”
Bernard Matthews is the tenth investment from the £320m Rutland Fund II and follows recent investments in AFI Group, Buy As You View and Pizza Hut UK Restaurants. In addition, Rutland has exited three businesses over the last year, including Pulse Home Products, NoteMachine and Advantage Healthcare.
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