Bernard Matthews headquartersGreat Witchingham Hall in Norfolk, the home of Bernard Matthews © Albanpix Ltd/REX/Shutterstock

Turkey integrator Bernard Matthews has opened dialogue with the Pension Protection Fund (PPF), which could reduce the firm’s liabilities, according to reports.

Sky News said unnamed sources had confirmed the business would be eligible for a rescue package, in which the PPF would take on responsibility for the firm’s pension pot.

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Absorbing the liability of defined benefit pensions would make Bernard Matthews a more attractive prospect for a potential buyer.

But it could see the value of retirement funds cut for those on final salary schemes.

Debts

It is understood that debts held by Bernard Matthews are holding back its sale, with buyers unwilling to take on the debt and sellers unhappy with the potential losses.

The business was bought by the turnaround specialist Rutland Partners in 2013 with a £20m investment.

Last year it injected a further £10m into the firm.

Earlier this year a letter circulated to staff suggested it intended to sell its stake.

2 Sisters Food Group is widely touted as the most likely buyer.

All parties declined to comment on the matter.