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May 28, 2013

UK: Joll returns as Bernard Matthews Farms CEO

Bernard Matthews Farms, which is looking for outside investment, has named former boss David Joll as executive chairman after three senior executives left their positions.

By Dean Best

Bernard Matthews Farms, which is looking for outside investment, has named former boss David Joll as executive chairman after three senior executives left their positions.

Joll takes the role after CEO Noel Bartram, chairman David McCall and Rob Mears, the company’s UK managing director, all stepped down.

Bartram will stay involved with the UK poultry processor but the day-to-day running of the business will be led by Joll, who led Bernard Matthews for 18 years until 2005. He will also lead the “investment process” the company said.

It has hired PwC, which is “evaluating a range of options” to “accelerate the company’s growth”. Bernard Matthews said last week it was in talks with PwC about how to boost the business. A Bernard Matthews spokesperson insisted administration was not on the table.

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.

“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,” it said today (28 May).

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