Finnish homeware group purchases Waterford Wedgwood

<p>The crystal and china company has been sold for $437 million.</p>

Crystal and china company Waterford Wedgwood has been sold for an initial $437 million (£281.5 million).

The purchase, by Finnish homeware group Fiskars, comes six years after the firm was rescued by KPS Capital Partners.

Managing partner at the New York based private equity fund, Michael Psaros, explained that Fiskars was founded in 1649 and the company has a strong understanding of the Waterford Wedgwood brand and its market.

"We are thrilled to sell WWRD to Fiskars, a company with its own 365-year history, which understands WWRD is not just a company or a group of iconic brands, but also possesses a unique legacy and a heritage," he said.

A six-year turnaround

After suffering a financial collapse, the 250-year-old Irish company was purchased in 2009 by KPS. Shortly after that takeover, the brand was combined with Royal Doulton and Royal Albert to create one umbrella business, which focussed on a "new business strategy and results-driven corporate culture," reports the Telegraph.

Mr Psaros, explained that the original business had been in very bad condition. "The business failed for a number of reasons, but not because of the recession, that's a false narrative," he said.

"Businesses don't end up in trouble, the are managed into the ditch," he added.

According to KPS, the turnaround saved 3,800 jobs and it has pushed into Asia, where there is a large demand for luxury goods. This has lifted the profits to more than $150 million.

As part of the turnaround project, KPS overhauled the business and moved half of the group's production to lower-cost countries like Slovakia and Indonesia. However, the company also made a point to maintain a significant manufacturing presence in Waterford and the Wedgwood Estate in Barlaston - as the brand's English heritage is an important part of its image. They also invested in new visitor centres to welcome tourists to the facilities in the UK.

In addition, Waterford Wedgwood's image has been improved with collaborations from celebrities, including chef Gordon Ramsay, fashion designer Vera Wang and supermodel Miranda Kerr.

Build your confidence risk free
Join our live webinars for the latest analysis and trading ideas. Register now

StoneX Financial Ltd (trading as “City Index”) is an execution-only service provider. This material, whether or not it states any opinions, is for general information purposes only and it does not take into account your personal circumstances or objectives. This material has been prepared using the thoughts and opinions of the author and these may change. However, City Index does not plan to provide further updates to any material once published and it is not under any obligation to keep this material up to date. This material is short term in nature and may only relate to facts and circumstances existing at a specific time or day. Nothing in this material is (or should be considered to be) financial, investment, legal, tax or other advice and no reliance should be placed on it.

No opinion given in this material constitutes a recommendation by City Index or the author that any particular investment, security, transaction or investment strategy is suitable for any specific person. The material has not been prepared in accordance with legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research. Although City Index is not specifically prevented from dealing before providing this material, City Index does not seek to take advantage of the material prior to its dissemination. This material is not intended for distribution to, or use by, any person in any country or jurisdiction where such distribution or use would be contrary to local law or regulation.

For further details see our full non-independent research disclaimer and quarterly summary.