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Waterford's new owner plans expansion by acquiring rivals

Post Time:Apr 02,2009Classify:Company NewsView:527

WATERFORD WEDGWOOD’S new owner intends to expand the luxury crystal and china group through buying up rivals, its chief executive said yesterday.

New York-based private equity fund KPS Capital formally bought most of the group’s assets out of receivership yesterday through a new vehicle, WWRD Holdings.

It also named former L’Oréal executive, Pierre de Villeméjane as chief executive of the new business.

Mr Villeméjane held the same role at Speedline Technologies, a former KPS investment in the US, as well as working in Britain and France.

Yesterday, he said the new owners intend to grow Waterford organically by buying up rivals, and added it had already provided for new acquisitions in the bank financing used to buy the group.

“We believe that our primary competitors are generally undercapitalised and regionally focused, presenting a significant opportunity to consolidate the industry worldwide,” he said. KPS is taking over the Waterford Crystal visitors’ centre at Kilbarry, and is keeping on 176 of the 708 workers who worked there when the receiver was appointed in January.

The remaining staff will work in the centre and in sales, marketing and back office. Their jobs are guaranteed for at least six months.

It is not buying the manufacturing plant at Kilbarry, but owns the brands and intellectual property. It is understood if manufacturing were to restart there, WWRD Holdings may buy it.

WWRD will maintain the production of Royal Doulton china at Stoke in England.

Source: WATERFORD WEDGWOODAuthor: shangyi

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