Waterford Wedgwood Appoints Receivers

Waterford Wedgwood has finally succumbed to financial pressures and fallen into receivership.

The troubled china producer was relying on continuing support from its banks whilst refinancing negotiations continued, including a possible €600m (US$846m) investment by a US private equity fund. However, the banks have decided not to continue to offer their support.

The Anglo Irish operator said: “Certain group companies have now been placed into receivership or will shortly be placed into administration. The continuance of the forbearance was essential to the group continuing as a going concern”.

The Irish group has appointed David Carson of Deloitte as receiver to the company and certain of its Irish subsidiaries. Trading has been suspended in the company’s shares on the Irish Stock Exchange.

Before Christmas the group was in talks with its principal lenders about refinancing its balance sheet. At the time trading was stopped in the company’s London listed shares.

However, these have now proved unsuccessful. In the UK, Angus Martin, Neville Kahn, Nick Dargan and Dominic Wong of Deloitte have been appointed to the UK plc and some of its subsidiaries.

A further announcement is expected later today setting out more details.

Chief executive David Sculley remained optimistic that parts of the business might still be saved.

He 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.”

The company had net debts of €449m at October 4. For the 26 weeks to that date the group reported a 11.1% fall in earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation to €24.6m on revenues down 15.4% to €207.6m for its continuing operations.

The recent strength of the euro has exacerbated the business’s woes.

Source: Thomson Merger News