Waterford Wedgwood, the luxury lifestyle group controlled by Sir Anthony O'Reilly and family, has called in receivers and requested that its stock be suspended from trading.
The board of directors has been looking to recapitalise the business for some time as it has struggled to pay back its debts. However, following the expiration and non-renewal of the forbearance period, some of the group's companies have now been placed into receivership or will shortly be placed into administration.
Specifically, administrators have been appointed to Waterford Wedgwood UK plc and "certain UK subsidiaries" – full details of which will be set out later today. The group owns the Waterford Crystal, Wedgwood, Rosenthal and Royal Doulton brands.
"The board has acted tirelessly in its efforts to resolve the company's issues as a going concern," said O'Reilly, the non-executive chairman. "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."
Waterford Wedgwood was founded 250 years ago and employs over 1,500 staff in the UK and Ireland. O'Reilly's wife and brother-in-law sit on the board of directors alongside founding family members Lord Piers Wedgwood and Alan Wedgwood, great-great-great-great-grandson of the founder.
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