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Steelite International Acquires Royal Crown Derby

STOKE-ON-TRENT, England - Steelite International has acquired British brand Royal Crown Derby, maker of fine bone china tableware, giftware and collectibles, from Royal Crown Derby chief executive, Hugh Gibson.

Royal Crown DerbyKevin Oakes nd Hugh Gibson

This is the first-ever acquisition for the Stoke-on-Trent-based Steelite and will see Royal Crown Derby remain in independent hands. Production will remain in Derby, retaining the skills of a 200-strong workforce.

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. The purchase price has not been disclosed.

The two British companies share a bond: both have been part of the former Royal Doulton Group for many decades, however each choosing to become privately owned enterprises. Steelite International manufactures inspirational tabletop ranges for the international hospitality industry.

"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," said Kevin Oakes chief executive of Steelite International.

Royal Crown Derby chief executive, Hugh Gibson, has chosen to step down from his post, saying, "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."

With this acquisition, Royal Crown Derby will launch into a new market with the Royal Crown Derby Entertains brand. This division will offer fine bone china tableware to major hotels, restaurants and hospitality venues throughout the world

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