Finland's Fiskars Buys WWRD, Maker of Wedgwood China and Waterford Crystal, From KPS Capital

NEW YORK (The Deal) -- Finnish home and outdoor consumer products group Fiskars (FKRAF) will take tea from Wedgwood tableware and pour port from Waterford crystal decanters after an agreement on Monday, May 11, to acquire the brands from New York private equity firm KPS Capital Partners for $437 million in cash.

The deal follows an auction in which private equity firms Pamplona Capital Management and reportedly Cinven and Searchlight Capital expressed an interest in the company.

Helsinki-listed Fiskars said it plans to buy WWRD Holdings, together with its Waterford, Wedgwood, Royal Doulton, Royal Albert and Rogaška brands. It said the deal will create a strong presence for its Fiskars Living unit in the luxury home and lifestyle products markets in the United States and enhance its position in Europe and Asia Pacific.

"Fiskars continues executing its growth strategy and becomes a leading global branded consumer goods company in the luxury and premium home and lifestyle products market, with a clear focus on tabletop, giftware and interior décor," it said.

WWRD is official supplier of Wedgwood and Royal Doulton tableware and giftware to the Queen of England, as well as maintaining licensing arrangements with high-profile designers, such as Britain's Jasper Conran.

Fiskars said WWRD generated net sales of $432 million in 2014, with operating profit excluding non-recurring items of $33 million. It had assets of $387.4 million. The combined company would have had pro-forma sales of $1.26 billion.

Fiskars' Functional Products segment was previously the largest of its businesses. However, the acquisition of WWRD's brands will complement the Living segment's existing Iittala, Royal Copenhagen, Arabia and Rörstrand brands and the two segments will henceforth be roughly equal in size.

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