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Steelite International Acquires Royal Crown Derby

19 December 2012

Leading ceramics manufacturer Steelite International today announced it has acquired the iconic British brand Royal Crown Derby.

This is Steelite International’s first ever acquisition and will see Royal Crown Derby remain in independent hands and firmly committed to manufacture in the Midlands.

Royal Crown Derby and Steelite International share a bond which spans many decades, having both been part of the former Royal Doulton Group and both choosing to become privately owned enterprises committed to the highest quality UK manufacture.

The merger of the two businesses will also see Royal Crown Derby launch into a new market with a new brand ‘Royal Crown Derby Entertains’ providing fine bone china tableware to major hotels restaurants and hospitality venues throughout the world.

Production of the world-famous china and giftware, which dates back to 1750, will remain in Derby, retaining the skills of a 200-strong workforce that make Royal Crown Derby a brand that is loved the world over. The company has an annual turnover of almost £7million and has been purchased for an undisclosed sum.

Kevin Oakes, Chief Executive of Steelite International, said: “This is excellent news for both companies.  Like us, Royal Crown Derby has a first-class reputation across the globe and we know that our expertise as a major ceramics industry player can only strengthen the business offering from Royal Crown Derby and ensure they reach new heights of success.

“We have researched the international hospitality market very carefully over the past year and know that there is a market for fine bone china which boasts that genuine Made in England pedigree.  ‘Royal Crown Derby Entertains’ will most definitely fulfil that niche.

Royal Crown Derby Chief Executive Hugh Gibson added: “After careful consideration I have decided it is time for me to retire, and know I am leaving Royal Crown Derby in the very safest hands.”

“It has been a privilege to be the custodian of Royal Crown Derby for so many years and I am certain it will thrive and maintain its special place in the heart of the nation under Steelite International’s stewardship.”

The acquisition of Royal Crown Derby tops off an excellent year for Steelite International which saw it announce record turnover of £66.3 million and unveil plans to expand its factory in Stoke-on-Trent to meet global demand.  The £12million investment at its Middleport base is expected to create more than 230 new jobs.

The dealmakers for the acquisition were Catherine Eley of Eversheds and Nick Dodd of KPMG acting for Steelite International and Ran Oren of Flint Bishop and John Bryant of Cooper Parry acting for Royal Crown Derby.

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