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May 21, 2013

UK: Bernard Matthews exploring external investment

UK poultry processor Bernard Matthews Farms has confirmed it is exploring the possibility of an external cash injection into the company in a bid to boost growth.

UK poultry processor Bernard Matthews Farms has confirmed it is exploring the possibility of an external cash injection into the company in a bid to boost growth.

A spokesperson for the family-controlled company told just-food today (21 May) it is in discussions with global accountancy firm PricewaterhouseCoopers over how it might raise some additional cash for to fund its growth.

In a statement today, the company said it was “exploring a range of options” with PwC in order to “accelerate the company’s existing growth strategy and infrastructure investments”.

The spokesperson added: “PwC are looking at a range of options for the business. It’s not about a liquidity or administration issue. Discussions are ongoing.”

Bernard Matthews, which was set up in 1958, floated on the London Stock Exchange in 1971 before being taken private by the Matthews family in 2001.

Despite tough trading conditions, the company returned to profit in its last financial year. Pre-tax profit in the 12 months to 1 July rose to GBP2m (US$3.2m). In the previous reporting period, the company had booked a pre-tax loss of GBP28.8m.

“All the options will only be evaluated once the process is completed. Bernard Matthews has weathered the difficult retail environment in a sound position and has the full support of its shareholders and financial advisers. The existing banking facilities will remain unchanged and are in place until December 2015,” the company’s statement added.

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