Page last updated at 19:59 GMT, Friday, 8 May 2009 20:59 UK

Wedgwood US arm 'performing well'

A Royal Doulton figurine produced for the Waterford Wedgwood group
KPS said Wedgwood USA had debts of up to $1m

The new owner of Waterford Wedgwood said its US arm was "performing well" despite problems seen by its predecessor.

WWRD Holdings Ltd, which acquired the assets of Waterford, Wedgwood and Royal Doulton in March, said it had "big plans for further expansion" in the US.

US private equity firm KPS Capital Partners put Wedgwood USA into administration in April.

But WWRD said the "technical action" was unrelated to current US business.

KPS announced the formation of WWRD when it took over pottery giant Waterford Wedgwood in March.

The equity firm said on 26 April it had applied to the federal bankruptcy court in Manhattan on behalf of Wedgwood USA.

KPS said it only wanted Waterford Wedgwood's assets like the site at Barlaston, Stoke-on-Trent, and its brand names, but not to take on US firm's debts of up to $1bn (£660.4m).

'Necessary step'

But WWRD said the move was a "necessary step in the wind-down of that dormant legal entity" and not related to its current US business.

WWRD head Pierre de Villemejane said: "Our world renowned brands remain as popular as ever, and we intend to significantly grow the business on a global scale."

It emerged in March that the UK business owed more than £8.7m to nearly 900 creditors.

KPS said the original British company, Josiah Wedgwood and Sons Limited, would also be liquidated in the future.

That action was not expected to have any impact on jobs in Staffordshire.

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