Page last updated at 09:09 GMT, Monday, 2 March 2009

Sale disappoints Wedgwood cousins

Wedgwood cup and saucer
Waterford Wedgwood went into administration in January

Two members of the Wedgwood family who put in a bid to buy the pottery firm have said they are "very disappointed" it has been sold to a rival bidder.

Waterford Wedgwood, which went into administration in January, has been sold to a US private equity firm.

Cousins Tom D Wedgwood and Tom R Wedgwood, eighth generation descendants of founder Josiah Wedgwood, said they wanted to keep jobs in Stoke-on-Trent.

It is not yet known what will happen to the firm's UK production.

The new owner KPS Capital Partners will acquire most of the firm's UK and overseas assets.

'Very disappointed'

A statement released by the Wedgwood cousins urged the group to keep production in Stoke-on-Trent.

It said: "We are very disappointed that our bid made three weeks ago for the Waterford Wedgwood Group did not succeed.

"We are, and always will be, passionate about retaining and rebuilding the reputation of Stoke-on-Trent as the centre of the world's fine bone china industry and we will vigorously pursue any and all avenues to ensure this vision for the future.

"We are not disheartened by this setback and will continue our fight to maintain and grow the unique skills built up over generations in this city."

A spokesman for the family said that all information regarding the bid had been covered by confidentiality agreements.

The firm employed 1,900 staff in the UK and 600 at its factory in Barlaston, Stoke-on-Trent, but has announced 367 redundancies.

The Irish section of the firm has about 800 staff based in Waterford.

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