Fiskars Corporation has agreed to acquire the WWRD group of companies and its portfolio of brands, which include Waterford, Wedgwood, Royal Doulton, Royal Albert and Rogaška from U.S. based private equity firm KPS Capital Partners, for $437 million.
For Fiskars’ Living business, the WWRD acquisition will create a strong presence in the U.S., and will further enhance Fiskars’ market position in Europe and Asia-Pacific, Fiskars announced.
Fiskars agreed to buy 100% of the shares in the holding company of the WWRD group, including its brands and business operations. Fiskars will also acquire certain intercompany receivables. Fiskars will finance the acquisition by monetizing its holdings in short term interest rate funds. The transaction is expected to close in the beginning of July 2015.
The management of WWRD will report to Kari Kauniskangas, president and CEO, Fiskars Corporation.
“We are delighted to be bringing together WWRD’s portfolio of iconic luxury home and lifestyle brands with Fiskars’ highly regarded Living brands of Iittala, Royal Copenhagen, Arabia and Rörstrand,” said Kauniskangas.
“Fiskars Group is set to become a leading global branded consumer goods company in the area of luxury and premium home and lifestyle products focusing on tabletop, giftware and interior décor,” he added.
“Through the acquisition we will create a strong presence for the Fiskars Living business in the U.S., and further enhance Fiskars’ market position in Europe and Asia-Pacific. Fiskars will now have a balanced portfolio of businesses,” said Kauniskangas.
Fiskars will continue to develop all WWRD and Fiskars Living brands. “As a company with centuries of history, the heritage and longevity of WWRD’s brands resonates strongly with Fiskars. The unique offering of each brand is based on a combination of their heritage and history. Fiskars will focus on strengthening these unique brands based on Fiskars’ consumer insight and deep understanding of consumer goods industry drivers and on leveraging common success models across them,” the company noted.
“We look forward very much to building a joint future with Fiskars. There is an excellent fit with the brand portfolios of both companies, and we will be able to build a joint success that will stem from the deep roots and core values of both the WWRD and Fiskars’ Living brands,” said Pierre de Villeméjane CEO of WWRD.
“We are delighted to be getting an owner that has strong industry experience and an impressive 365 years of heritage in Scandinavian design. I am confident that these strengths, together with our continued focus on contemporary relevance, will ensure that the WWRD brands will retain and indeed grow their iconic status around the world and capture the ongoing growth in luxury demand,” he said.