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CERAMIC INDUSTRY BUSINESS LEADER ANNOUNCES ACQUISITION OF ROYAL CROWN DERBY
Ceramic Industry business leader, Kevin Oakes, has today announced that he has acquired 100% of the share capital in fine bone china manufacturer, Royal Crown Derby, for an undisclosed sum. In doing so, Mr. Oakes has chosen to exit one of the world’s leading tableware manufacturers, Steelite International, after a 39-year tenure, the last 10 of which were spent as Chief Executive.
Mr. Oakes commented “Royal Crown Derby is one of the UK’s most iconic brands and I’ve always passionately believed that the business can succeed on the global stage. I led Steelite International’s acquisition of Royal Crown Derby in 2012 and following today’s announcement I plan to invest heavily in the business to ensure our long term vision is realised.”
When asked about what today’s acquisition will mean for the future of the business and its employees, Mr. Oakes commented, “Market conditions remain extremely challenging and changes will be implemented across all areas of the business to ensure it is appropriately structured and resourced. We are committed to long-term manufacturing in Derby and I’m confident that with targeted investments in our team, our factory and product innovation, the outlook for the business is both positive and exciting.”
Mr. Oakes leaves Steelite International in a strong position having taken sales from £45m to over £100m in 10 years, whilst achieving record profitability in 2015. Mr Oakes said “Steelite International has been my life’s work and I am delighted to hand the business over to the existing management team. I now look forward to concentrating my efforts on ensuring Royal Crown Derby goes from strength to strength.”
Sales and Marketing Director, Christopher Oakes said, “Over recent years we have successfully diversified the business into the luxury hospitality market and we are now proud suppliers to leading establishments such as The Dorchester, Warwick Castle and Waldorf Astoria. Whilst this strategy is paying dividends, the markets in which we operate are constantly changing and therefore we need to be proactive to forge ahead of our competitors.”
“The significant experience and skill of our workforce allows us to introduce new, technically challenging products and we will shortly be launching tableware and giftware collections that we believe will be hugely successful with both new and existing customers. I firmly believe that Kevin’s vast experience in the industry, combined with targeted investment, will accelerate our growth momentum and we look forward to the challenges and successes that lie ahead of us.”
NOTES TO EDITORS
• Royal Crown Derby is a world-leading manufacturer of exquisite fine bone china tableware and giftware
• Royal Crown Derby supply the world’s finest retailers, luxury hotels and restaurants and global royalty in 50 countries.
• All fine bone china products are 100% made in England, using techniques largely unchanged since the businesses establishment in 1750.
• Over 130 people are employed at its historic ‘Osmaston Works’ factory in Derby, England.
• Established in 1750, the company became known as “Crown Derby” by King George III in 1775. In 1890, Queen Victoria bestowed the title "Royal" creating the company name of “Royal Crown Derby.”
• Only the finest materials are used including 22ct gold The Royal Crown Derby basic formula of bone ash, china stone and china clay remains a formula for high-quality bone china. The intrinsic strength of the body means that it is possible to achieve delicate profiles without sacrificing resistance to breakage, unlike other translucent bodies. We specialise in customised decoration, which ranges from simple monogramming to completely unique dinner services. We are experts in this field as we perform every element of the production process from modelling, design, making and decorating. We also have a print shop, which allows us to produce bespoke, cost effective decals quickly.
KEVIN OAKES BIOGRAPHY
Kevin Oakes, former Chief Executive of Steelite International, has over 38 years’ experience in the ceramic tableware industry. He is Chairman of the BPMF (British Pottery Manufacturers Federation) (Trustee) Ltd and a board member of both the BCC (British Ceramic Confederation) and Stoke-on-Trent & Staffordshire LEP. Kevin was awarded Ernst & Young Midlands Entrepreneur of the Year for 2012, presented with The Queen’s Award for Enterprise in the International Trade Category in 2013 and this year was recognised with an Honorary Doctorate from Staffordshire University in recognition of his distinguished career and his championing of the ceramics industry and UK manufacturing.