Bernard Matthews firm is keen to tap external investment cash

Michael Bow
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NORFOLK-based turkey farming firm Bernard Matthews is poised to open up ownership of the family-controlled business under fresh plans to boost the company.

The group, which grew to prominence under founder Bernard Matthews’ high profile “bootiful” advertising campaign in the 1980s, is working with debt advisory consultants from PwC on plans to tap external capital.

Yesterday it said it was “exploring a range of options to accelerate its growth strategy and infrastructure investments” after overcoming a “difficult retail environment”.

Bernard Matthews, who died three years ago, set up the farm in 1958 and floated it in London in 1971. It was taken private by the Matthews family in 2001 but tough trading conditions have seen profits remain steady rather than soar.

It made £2m profits in the year ending July 2012, on revenues of £341.4m.

Last year it said it had renewed banking facilities until December 2015. The firm has a number of external minority shareholders who own less than five per cent.