Family battles with US group for Wedgwood

Talks over the purchase of Waterford Wedgwood are continuing as would-be buyer KPS Capital Partners fights it out with members of the Wedgwood family.
Waterford Wedgwood UK’s administrator, Deloitte, agreed in principle earlier this month to sell the business to US partnership KPS. But members of the Wedgwood family are involved in a rival bid for the Staffordshire ceramics part of the company, with Middle Eastern investor backing.

Tom Wedgwood, the seventh generation descendant of Wedgwood founder Josiah Wedgwood, is reportedly behind the move, which would save Stoke-on-Trent jobs that some fear will be lost under KPS. The Wedgwoods’ plan would also shed the link with Waterford Crystal.

“Speaking as the last Wedgwood in the company, I know it’s now or never, or a great British brand is going to be extinct within a couple of years,” Tom Wedgwood is reported as saying. “The Wedgwoods are not the kind of family that will let that happen, and Britain should not be the kind of country that lets its best brands die so cheaply.”

A spokesperson for Deloitte told “Discussions are still continuing with several parties, KPS included. All parties will want as speedy a process as possible.”

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