Bernard Matthews turkey

Bernard Matthews is expecting to have a new UK CEO in situ in early 2014, the turkey giant said this week, as it announced a multimillion pound cash injection from Rutland Partners.

The company went through a management shake-up earlier this year, when UK MD Rob Mears, chairman David McCall and CEO Noel Bartram all left or retired in swift succession.

Executive chairman David Joll said with Rutland Partners now on board, the search for a new UK head would kick off shortly, with headhunters expected to be appointed imminently. “We are hoping to have someone in place in early 2014,” he added.

Bernard Matthews this week announced Rutland Partners - an investment firm that specialises in turning around troubled businesses - had taken a major equity stake in the company. Financial details and the size of the stake were not disclosed, but Joll said the deal amounted to a “very significant partnership”, and was worth in excess of £20m.

As part of the deal, two Rutland partners - Paul Cartwright and David Wingfield - will be joining the Bernard Matthews board.

Joll said Bernard Matthews would use the funds to support its brand with new advertising and marketing and make much-needed investments in its facilities, including rolling out new feeders and drinkers and insulating farm roofs. “Because of the business’s poor financial performance recently, it hasn’t been able to invest,” Joll said. “The money from Rutland will change that.”

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