The Irish maker of luxury tableware Waterford Wedgwood called in the receivers on Monday. The loss making company had been trying to find new investors for months, but failed to get its creditors to give it more time to pay back loans.
Former Chief Executive and current director Redmond O’Donoghue said he wants to see it continue to trade: “What I hope comes out of the receivership process is that the business is marketable and marketed as a going concern and it continues more or less as it has been, but obviously with new money coming in, and it has not too damaging an effect on employees both past and present but there is a certain question mark when the receiver comes in, that’s why we were trying to avoid this day, but it’s very much up to the receiver now.”
Last year Waterford Wedgwood again sold fewer plates and glasses. Its turnover was down by 9 percent with losses of 233 million euros. Debt reached 531 million euros, up by a quarter on 2007.
Both companies are more than 200 years old. They merged in 1986. The group was trying to modernise its product range just as the economic downturn hit its main markets, Britain and the US, and the strength of the euro hit earnings, while the credit crisis made talks with lenders more difficult.
The group has some 8,000 employees worldwide, including 1,900 working in manufacturing and retail in Britain and 800 in Ireland. To try to cut costs it had already moved most production to Asia. Waterford Wedgwood also employs 1,000 people at the Germany-based porcelain maker Rosenthal which is not effected by the receivership move.