Prime Minister Gordon Brown has joined the drama surrounding Waterford Wedgwood, as the company reportedly hovers on the brink of signing a deal with a buyer.
The PM has pledged government backing for any potential purchaser that will keep jobs in Staffordshire, saying that it will underwrite loans and give financial support for skills training.
The successful bidder looks likely to be US private equity firm KPS Capital, which appears to be just days away from tying up the final details of the deal.
The other interested parties are US private equity group Clarion Capital and members of the Wedgwood family.
Meanwhile, it was announced last week that KPS has bought the bankrupt US tableware giant Lenox. The deal includes tabletop, giftware and collectible products under the Lenox, Dansk and Gorham names.
Lenox CEO Marc Pfefferle said KPS would “provide the capital to build our brands so they can realise their full potential for sustainable growth and profitability”.