Waterford Wedgwood to call in administrators

Loss-making tableware and crystal group Waterford Wedgwood has called in the receivers and some of its UK subsidiaries will be placed into administration today.

Waterford Wedgwood to call in administrators

The company has also requested this morning that trading in its shares on the Irish Stock Exchange be suspended.

The move follows the failure of talks to try to secure investment in the loss-making business and the expiry of a January 2 deadline from its financiers.

In a statement, group chief executive officer David Sculley said: “I am disappointed that certain of the group’s UK and Irish subsidiaries have had to go into administration and receivership, but we remain optimistic that ongoing discussions will result in a buyer being found for the businesses.”

Deloitte has been appointed as receiver to Waterford Wedgwood plc and certain of its Irish subsidiaries. Later today Deloitte will be appointed as administrator to Waterford Wedgwood UK plc and some of the UK subsidiaries.

The company’s main brands are Wedgwood, Waterford Crystal, Royal Doulton and Rosenthal. It employs almost 1,600 people in the UK and Ireland – at its factories in Barlaston, Stoke on Trent and in Waterford. It also operates stores and retail concessions.

Waterford Wedgwood has been struggling for some time, and last month delivered a six-month pre-tax loss of £60.5m.

Commenting on the company’s collapse, chairman Sir Anthony O’Reilly said: “I want to commend the board and the executives, the Irish and UK governments, our suppliers, our customers and our employees for all of their support and efforts. The board has acted tirelessly in its efforts to resolve the company’s issues as a going concern, and the principal shareholders have invested in support of this business for almost 20 years.

“We are consoled only by the fact that everything that could have been done, by management and by the board, to preserve the group was done.”

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