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US firm to buy Waterford Wedgwood

Published: 9 January 2009
Tabletop manufacturer in talks with little-known American private equity company KPS Capital over a potential sale of the business.
US firm to buy Waterford Wedgwood
New-York-based KPS has emerged as a potential buyer of Waterford Wedgwood after it signed a 'letter of intent' signalling its plans to acquire a number of the company's assets.

The move could see up to 2,700 jobs in the UK and Ireland saved, said Waterford Wedgwood's administrators, Deloitte, although the firms are still weeks away from an agreed deal.

According to The Independent, KPS had been in talks with Waterford Wedgwood since last year, before the 250-year-old crystal and china firm called the administrators in on Monday.

Waterford Wedgwood's chief executive David Sculley said: "We commend KPS for its confidence in our company, and for the enormous amount of time, effort and resources expended by KPS globally that have resulted in reaching this important stage."

He added: "I look forward to working towards the successful completion of a deal."

Distressed fund KPS has over $1.8 billion of committed capital focused on, what the company describes as, 'constructive investing in restructurings, turnarounds, and other special situations'.

With a sale agreed in principal, KPS hopes to secure a deal by the end of January. However, Deloitte has said that it will continue to hold talks with other interested parties.

At least ten firms are said to have expressed an interest, including private equity group Alchemy Partners, and US-based Hilco and Sun Cap-ital Partners.

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