Turkey giant Bernard Matthews sells off its German business

Bernard Matthews rebrand. New product packaging and logo. Pictures submitted.

Bernard Matthews rebrand. New product packaging and logo. Pictures submitted. - Credit: Archant

Turkey giant Bernard Matthews has sold its German branch to international rival Sprehe Gruppe (Sprehe Group), reducing group debt by €14m (£12m).

Great Witchingham hall, Bernard Matthews' headquarters. Photo: Bill Smith

Great Witchingham hall, Bernard Matthews' headquarters. Photo: Bill Smith - Credit: Bill Smith © Archant

The Great Witchingham-based poultry producer said it had exchanged contracts with Union Holdings & Co KG, which holds all activities for the Sprehe Gruppe, for the sale of its 100% interest in Bernard Matthews Oldenburg (BMO) – its German subsidiary.

BMO is an independent operation that serves the German market with turkey and chicken products under the BM Oldenburg brand.

A statement from the company, which last week appointed PwC to research possible buyers, said: 'The BMO business has flourished in the last few years, but has also grown more independent of the UK Bernard Matthews business.'

'It made strategic sense both for the UK group and for BMO to find a new owner that could bring the resource and strength in the German market to exploit fully the BMO brand and operations.


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'The proceeds from the sale will reduce group debt by €14m. We are very pleased that Sprehe Group have bought the business and are sure the business and all of its people will prosper in this new ownership.'

Alan Jamieson, chairman of Bernard Matthews, said: 'The sale of this non-core business releases capital that will be useful to the UK operation as we continue to rebuild profitability and to invest in the UK's leading turkey producer and only significant independent poultry brand. We look forward to a very busy Christmas as we put turkey on more than three million of the nation's tables.'

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Sprehe Gruppe is owned by Albert and Paul Sprehe and produces chicken, turkey and pork on multiple sites in Germany.

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