With a 185p-per-share offer, Bernard Matthews has finally completed a deal which means he once more controls the full ownership of the turkey business which he established over 50 years ago with the not so formidable investment of £2 and 10 shillings.
Food and household products manufacturer Sara Lee withdrew from a takeover battle for the “bootiful” firm earlier this month, and Matthews has now emerged the victor. When the Norfolk-based company was floated in 1971, Mathews and his family retained a 41.7% stake, but this will now increase dramatically as the turkey firm is taken over by a holding company headed by Matthews.
The £232m deal values the company at 57% more than its market capitalisation but Matthews is wisely taking advantage of the current low share price, which has remained persistently static despite that profitability during H1 had risen 43% on 1999. He believes that this is reflective of the “poor investment sentiment” towards smaller food related companies, but such sluggish performance is not expected to impact negatively on his ability to raise development funds for continental expansion into Poland and Germany.
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