Waterford Wedgwood investors looking for more Irish deals after tripling money
Investors who have more than tripled their money turning around Waterford Wedgewood say they are in the hunt for more Irish deals.
New York based private equity company KPS bought Waterford Wedgewood for €107m after it went into receivership in January 2009. It has now agreed to sell the business for €390m to Finland’s Fiskars.
“We are open for business. We would welcome an opportunity to invest in Ireland again,” KPS managing director Michael Psaros told the Irish Independent yesterday.
KPS specialises in buying and managing the “turnaround” of struggling manufacturing business. The turnaround of the former Waterford Wedgewood, now renamed WWRD, is its only Irish deal to date.
Read more here: Waterford wedgwood on the block again
The renamed WWRD manufactures under brands including Wedgwood, Waterford and Royal Doulton. It has global sales of $432 million, about half of Fiskars' annual revenue. Fiskar is a 250 year old firm, which owns the Royal Copenhagen homeware brand.
The Finnish form had been expected to pursue new deals after it divested some financial assets last year that also prompted a special dividend.
"The purchase price of 13 times per EBIT looks sensible to me. That's the same valuation level that Fiskars itself has," said Nordea analyst Rauli Juva.
"Fiskars seems to think they will benefit from a wider, more global brand portfolio."
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The deal is expected to close at the beginning of July.