Royal Doulton bid

Shareholders in Royal Doulton have had little to celebrate over the past year as the market for prestige ceramic gifts and homeware has dipped both in Britain and North America.
The firm“s shares ha…

Shareholders in Royal Doulton have had little to celebrate over the past year as the market for prestige ceramic gifts and homeware has dipped both in Britain and North America. The firm“s shares have fallen from GBp 135 at the start of last year to a low of GBp 39 last month, after a warning at the group“s AGM that sales were down 5%. Chairman Hamish Grossart blamed a sharply slower consumer demand for gifts, especially collectables. But now the china manufacturer is facing a possible bid from venture capital group Alchemy. The two sides have held some preliminary negotiations but a bid for the loss-making company is not expected until September. Waterford Wedgewood, has a 15% stake in Royal Doulton and is understood to be considering whether to enter what looks likely to become one of the first bids of the autumn. Royal Doulton rose GBp 2.5 to GBp 42.5.