A Bernard Matthews spokesman confirmed to Food Manufacture that it was one of the “interested parties” for the business, along with another as yet unnamed potential buyer. They confirmed that talks were at an advanced stage and that Bernard Matthews was confident that a deal would be agreed shortly.
The spokesman revealed that, if successful in its bid for Banham Poultry, it would keep around 160 of the 1,000 staff on-site under Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) regulations (TUPE), while the remaining 840 employees would be offered redeployment within Bernard Matthews’ sites in Norfolk or parent company’s 2 Sisters Food Group business.
Banham Poultry chief executive Martyn Bromley was reported in local press stating that two offers were on the table, but one would see the plant shut down and production moved elsewhere while the other, understood to be a lower offer, would protect the jobs and production in Attleborough. Banham Poultry has yet to respond to requests from Food Manufacture for comment on the situation.
Local MP George Freeman Tweeted that “intense talks” have been taking place over the future of the business over the past 48 hours.
Extensive talks continuing ystdy, overnight & this morning to try & ensure we get the right financial partner for @BanhamPoultryUK to keep this flagcarrier for Norfolk poultry here in MidNorfolk. Thank you to all those helping: @BreckCouncil@NewAngliaLEP@trussliz@NorfolkCC. https://t.co/47HcagMTwv— George Freeman MP (@GeorgeFreemanMP) October 5, 2018
A joint statement from Breckland Council, New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), Norfolk County Council and the Department for Work and Pensions said: “Banham Poultry has for many years played a key part of the Breckland community, providing a range of local employment opportunities. As a result, we will be doing our utmost, alongside our partners, to support the business to remain within the district.”
Banham Poultry was in the news earlier this week following the death of two subcontractors at its Attleborough site.
Bernard Matthews recently announced the extension of its supply chain agreement with Fowler Welch and that it was looking to create 400 new jobs at its Suffolk site on the back of new retail contracts.