Bernard Matthews took his company private in a £232m deal in 2001 after 30 years on the stock market. The Norwich company was founded in 1950 when the young Matthews, then an auctioneer’s clerk, bought a batch of turkey eggs to hatch. It now rears 13m turkeys worldwide each year, and generated annualised sales of £400m in 2001, when the company had 6,385 staff.
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