Reports this week placed Ranjit Singh’s 2 Sister Food Group ahead of other poultry companies, including Faccenda and Moy Park, in the bid to buy Bernard Matthews. 2 Sisters was “front-runner in a flock of bidders”, reported The Telegraph.
‘Very big player’
An informed industry source, who asked not to be named, told FoodManufacture.co.uk, “I would think, inevitably, [the 2 Sisters boss] would want to have a look [at buying Bernard Matthews], seeing as Bernard Matthews is a very big player in the poultry market. Whether ultimately they’re the ones to buy it, I just don’t know.”
If Singh did make a bid, it would be his second turkey business acquisition this year, albeit on a much larger scale than his last purchase. In April, Singh bought Irish business Grove Farms, a company whose latest publically-available accounts recorded revenue of €17.6M in 2010.
The acquisition, for an undisclosed sum, was a private deal, it was stressed at the time.
Moy Park’s bid
However, due to the falling value of the sterling after Britain’s shock Brexit vote earlier last month, foreign buyers were thought to have an advantage in takeover negotiations. That could boost Moy Park’s bid for a takeover, as the Northern Irish company was sold to Brazil’s JBS in 2015.
2 Sisters declined to comment on the prospect of it bidding for the turkey business.
Rutland Partners – owner of Bernard Matthews, Europe’s largest turkey processor – approached PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC) last week to seek a buyer for the business.
Bernard Matthews posted a turnover of £276.8M for the year ending 2015, down from £306.8M the year before.
Following the £30M fall in turnover, the company emailed its staff on Wednesday June 28 informing them that the company was up for sale.
Unite the union said last week the 2,000 strong workforce now faced a “worrying time” as Bernard Matthews sought buyer. The union is seeking assurances on job security at a meeting with management on July 15.
Meanwhile, 2 Sisters’ owner Boparan Holdings acquired the Giraffe restaurant chain from Tesco last month for an undisclosed sum. See a list of recent acquisitions in the box below.
Ranjit Singh’s recent acquisitions
- Giraffe restaurant chain, June 2016
- Grove Farms, April 2016
- Cinnamon Collection restaurant brand, January 2016