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Waterford Wedgwood Succumbs
Crystal and China Maker Files for Insolvency as Lenders Lose Patience
LONDON -- One of the world's best-known makers of fine crystal and ceramics, Waterford Wedgwood PLC, has succumbed to the credit crunch.
Having struggled for years to revive its brands amid growing competition from more modern, less-expensive tableware, the heavily indebted company filed for insolvency administration Monday after failing to win a reprieve from lenders. The company's owners, led by prominent Irish investor Sir Anthony O'Reilly, had been racing to find a private-equity buyer but weren't able to close a deal in time to satisfy the banks.
創立於一七五九年的Wedgwood，是英國陶瓷業的標竿與象徵，其創辦人Josiah Wedgwood享有「英國陶器之父」的美譽。尤其他創造的仿貝殼浮雕，結合希臘神話人物的藍白「碧玉」（Jasper)系列，為Wedgwood最受歡迎的收藏品，廣受全球消費者喜愛。 一九八七年，該公司和英國製造水晶飾品的知名老店Waterford水晶合併為「Waterford Wedgwood」，並將總公司移到愛爾蘭。產品雖依然強調在英國設計，但生產線則逐漸轉移到亞洲地區。 去年八月以來，負債淨值達四億四千九百萬歐元的「Waterford Wedgwood」，一直在努力籌款，以支付須於今年年初償還的一億五千萬歐元貸款。
The work of Josiah Wedgewood has been put on display for the first time at a new multi-million pound museum in Staffordshire.