Leading turkey producer Bernard Matthews has secured a £20m-plus investment from business turnaround specialist Rutland Partners, which it hopes will boost its financial performance.

Last spring the company revealed it was looking for an outside investor to inject much needed capital to support its growth and development.

While not specifying the exact terms of the deal now struck with Rutland, Bernard Matthews has revealed its new London partners will have two seats on the board and are putting in “in excess of £20m”.

Executive chairman David Joll, who rejoined the business back in May following a spate of senior management departures, is staying on in the role while the search continues for a new, permanent chief executive.

“We are delighted with the new partnership and warmly welcome Rutland Partners to the business,” he said. “It has been well documented that we have been looking into a range of funding options to help develop the business. We wanted a partner who understood the company and were committed to helping us grow.

“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.”
David Joll, executive chairman of Bernard Matthews

“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.”

David Wingfield, a partner of Rutland, said he was excited to be investing in the leading turkey producer in the UK, and was looking forward to working with its energetic and passionate management team.

Bernard Matthews is the market leading producer of turkey in the UK operating across 50 farms and four processing facilities. The business breeds, raises and processes about 7 million birds a year and supplies the market with 1.5 million fresh turkeys over Christmas.

Despite enjoying an important market position, Bernard Matthews has faced some trading challenges in recent years, posting significant losses in 2010-11.

But last year it returned to the black, making a profit from continuing operations of £5.3m from sales of £341m.

Bernard Matthews is the tenth investment from Rutland Fund II (£320m). In the past 12 months the group has also invested in AFI Group, Buy As You View and Pizza Hut.

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