PNC Riverarch Capital buys Steelite International

PNC Riverarch Capital has acquired UK-based Steelite International, a maker of tabletop products for the hospitality industry. No financial terms were disclosed for the transaction that was done in partnership with Steelite’s Americas division President John Miles. Bank of Montreal and The Private Bank provided the senior financing for the deal. In addition to the transaction, Miles has been named CEO of Steelite International.


Steelite International, leading manufacturer and supplier of tabletop products for the hospitality industry has announced that the Company has been acquired by Americas division President John Miles, and PNC Riverarch Capital. John Miles has also been appointed the CEO of Steelite International. PNC Riverarch is the private equity affiliate of The PNC Financial Services Group, one of the United States’ largest diversified financial institutions.

“Having worked in the business for twenty years and served as president of the Americas division for the past eleven years, it fills me with immense pride to have made this personal investment alongside PNC Riverarch,” said John Miles. “Steelite International is known as the leader in the hospitality tableware industry and our goal is to continue that leadership through the introduction of new, creative and innovative products. We will continue the investment in the manufacturing sector to improve efficiencies, service levels and provide value added to our customers. I look forward to working with our management team to grow and improve the business.”

As a result of the acquisition, former Steelite CEO Kevin Oakes has acquired English fine bone china manufacturer, Royal Crown Derby after exiting Steelite International after a 39 year tenure, the last 10 years of which were spent as Chief Executive. Steelite International will continue to represent Royal Crown Derby in the hospitality market.

Kevin Oakes commented: “Steelite International has been my life’s work and I am honoured to have been part of such a committed and passionate team. I firmly believe that Steelite International is the best in the world and the people, products and company values are testament to this collective success. I am delighted to hand the business over to John Miles and the management team whom I’ve worked with for a number of years and I am confident that the tradition of reinvesting profit back in to the business will continue. I now look forward to an exciting future working with Steelite International who will represent Royal Crown Derby in the hospitality market.”

Michael Rost, Managing Director of PNC Riverarch, commented, “We are very pleased to have the opportunity to partner with John Miles and Steelite. The company’s focus on product quality, innovation, and customer service have driven strong brand recognition and attractive financial performance. We look forward to working with the Steelite team to build on the company’s impressive history of growth.”

UK Shareholders were represented by Catalyst and John Miles was represented by Confluence Advisors. Senior Financing for the transaction was provided by the Bank of Montreal and The Private Bank.

About Steelite International
Steelite International is a world-leading manufacturer and supplier of award-winning, inspirational tabletop ranges for the international hospitality industry with a tremendous global presence trading in over 140 countries. The company’s core chinaware products are manufactured at its factory and global headquarters in Stoke-on-Trent – one of the most modern and efficient production units in the world – with its Americas division operation in New Castle, Pennsylvania. Steelite International’s business spans a number of industry sectors including catering, restaurants, casinos and hotels. The company’s global specialist partners complete our tabletop offering with glassware, flatware, buffetware and unique accessories.

The company’s Mission Statement is: “To be the hospitality industry’s preferred choice for tabletop products, achieved through the combination of inspirational design, excellent quality and outstanding service whilst minimising our environmental impact.”

About John Miles
John Miles is the third-generation of a family who has worked in the pottery industry since the early 1930’s. Two of his grandparents worked at Shenango China in New Castle, PA and his father followed as a Production Superintendent. At the time, Shenango China was one of the leading dinnerware manufacturers in the US.

John worked his way through college and upon graduation went to work for Woodmere China. At Woodmere, John worked in every department which provided a solid foundation to understand how products were sourced or manufactured, and how to sell value added product. He also gained appreciation for design and how to treat a customer. From Woodmere, he worked at The Homer Laughlin China Co. for a few years where he furthered his knowledge of distribution.

John Miles joined Steelite International in November 1996 as a USA Regional Sales Manager for the Mid-West territory. In 1997, he was appointed National Distribution Sales Manager. In 1998, he accepted the position of National Sales Manager, and in 2000 John was named Vice President of Sales.

In 2005, John Miles advanced to the position of President of the Americas division of Steelite International. Through John’s vision and love of the industry, he has propelled Steelite to become the leading supplier of tabletop products in the US, Canada, Caribbean, Central & South America. John’s recipe for success is fairly simple – Provide solutions in cutting edge tabletop products, support the local chefs’ community, develop personal relationships, and create partnerships with like-minded organizations that share his passion for making a difference in the world. Within the business John believes in creating a foundation of strong company values on which a culture can be created where all employees have a voice and can realize their aspirations.

On June 14, 2016 John Miles and PNC Riverarch Capital acquired Steelite International and John was named CEO of the company.

His career in the pottery industry has come full circle. His family worked at the Shenango Factory and Mayer China. Mayer China, formerly Meir Brothers was founded in England in 1721 and started operating the Dale Hale Works in Burslem in 1836. This is the exact same spot where Steelite sits today and the exact same spot from which a new chapter begins.