A deal to purchase turkey producer Bernard Matthews is expected to be announced this week by 2 Sisters parent company Boparan Holdings.
As reported in The Telegraph, the poultry giant Boparan has agreed a pre-pack administration with private equity firm Rutland Partners who took on Bernard Matthews in 2013. It is expected the deal will ensure the security of the 2,000 existing employees.
However, Bernard Matthews’ pension scheme will pass into the Pension Protection Fund which has caused concern amongst workers union Unite.
Mark Walker, Unite regional officer, said: “Media reports that Bernard Matthews could be sold by its current owners Rutland Partners to the 2 Sisters Food Group would cause uncertainty for staff, especially if it means that the pensions of the dedicated workforce being transferred to the Pension Protection Fund.
“Unite is seeking urgent clarification from Rutland Partners as to what is the current state of play. Our prime concern is the need for assurances on job security for our 450 members.”
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.
PriceWaterhouseCoopers was appointed in June of this year to find a buyer for the company.
A spokesperson for Rutland Partners told Meat Trades Journal that “it is not the Company’s policy to comment on speculation in the media”.
By Aidan Fortune
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