Page last updated at 09:34 GMT, Friday, 27 March 2009

Wedgwood has 2m pension deficit

A Waterford Wedgwood store in Central London
The sale of the firm to a US company was finalised on Thursday

Pottery firm Waterford Wedgwood has a hole in its pension fund of more than £2m, administrators said.

In a report on the Staffordshire firm's funds administrators Deloitte said there was an estimated pension fund deficit of £2.238m.

A deal that sees US equity firm KPS Capital Partners take over the company, which went into administration in January, was finalised on Thursday.

The government has said 90% of money in the pension fund would be protected.

The Waterford Wedgwood group, which has been badly hit by the economic slowdown, had debts of around £400m when it went into administration.

It employed about 1,900 people in the UK, but almost 600 staff have been made redundant since August.

'Real reassurance'

Details of KPS Capital Partners' buyout of the firm are still emerging but Moira Gavin, the pottery firm's chief executive in Barlaston, Stoke-on-Trent, is keeping her position.

Meanwhile, the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, James Purnell, said most money in the pension fund would be protected.

He said: "The good news for people in that fund is the Pension Protection Fund - which Labour brought in - is going to protect the vast majority of their pensions and pay around 90% of people's pensions.

"So there's a real reassurance there."

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