john bowler© Tim Scrivener

Free-range egg pioneer John Bowler has sold his business, John Bowler’s Eggs, to the company’s finance director Colin Shed in a move that marks the end of over 30 years in the egg business.

As part of the deal, the Bowler Energy division is being transferred to Noble Green Energy.

See also: John Bowler celebrates 30 years in the egg franchise business

Mr Shed told Poultry World that ownership of Bowlers Eggs was now solely in his hands, though the same management team that has been running the business for several years was staying in place.

“We are all committed to continuing to deliver the same level of service for our farmers,” he said. “There has been a great deal of innovation within the Bowler business and we plan to continue that and enhance it, to ensure that our producers can enjoy some of the most sustainable returns in the egg industry.”

Mr Shed added that the buy-out was a “logical step” given that Mr Bowler had stepped back from the business in recent times. It was time to take the business forward under new ownership.

Retirement statement

In his retirement announcement, Mr Bowler said he had mixed emotions, saddened to be leaving a business he’d spent 30 years building up, but relieved to be unburdened of all the responsibility.

“I feel Colin has some very exciting plans for the future of the Group and I anticipate that he will be looking to find ways of removing costs from the supply chain, which is so important in today’s business world.”

This would be good for job security and for the security of contracted egg producers and associated businesses. “The industry is becoming more competitive as every year passes and it’s important that we rise to such challenges.”

Mr Bowler said that, with the management team staying on, “it should look to be business as usual from the outside”.

In “retirement”, he planned to concentrate on his property business – “the side of the business I am really passionate about” – and maybe some consultancy work.

Recent annual accounts for John Bowler’s Eggs for the 12 months to 31 March 2015 show that the company made a pre-tax profit of £430,000 from sales of £57.7m from its principal activities of selling eggs and supplying pullets.

Eggs are sold to Noble Foods and Stonegate.

  • Look out for more details in the next (December) issue of Poultry World