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News : Irish Last Updated: Jan 5, 2010 - 11:47:10 AM


Waterford Crystal site on market; Second death of renowned Irish glass brand
By Finfacts Team
Jan 5, 2010 - 11:38:18 AM

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The Waterford Wedgwood receiver has put the 36-acre site of the Waterford Crystal works, at Kilbarry, Waterford city, on the market, marking the end of glass making for the second time in the city.

The site includes the Waterford Crystal visitor centre, and is valued at between €10m and €20m.

The rest of Waterford Wedgwood's businesses were sold to a US investment firm last February and glass crystal is now produced in Germany, under the Waterford brand in Germany.

David Carson, a partner in Deloitte Ireland, was appointed receiver of the Irish operations of Waterford Wedgwood plc and a number of its trading subsidiaries, a year ago today - - January 05, 2009.

Waterford Crystal employed 3,200 people in Ireland, at its high point in the 1970's.

Glass making in Waterford dates from 1783 and ended in 1851.

In 1947, Czech immigrant Charles Bacik, grandfather of Irish Senator Ivana Bacik, opened a glass works in the city because of the reputation of the original glassware.

In the early 1950s, the operation was acquired by the Irish Glass Bottle company, which was controlled by the McGrath family who also operated the Irish Sweepstakes.

John Foley, chief of the Waterford Crystal unit, said in 2007 that the group employed 1,300 staff in Indonesia for the same wage costs as 90 staff in Britain, itself a cheaper labour market than Ireland.

Irish businessman Sir Anthony O'Reilly first invested in Waterford in 1990. As CEO Of Heinz in the 1980's, he often spoke about the need for Ireland to create world-class brands and said that Waterford Crystal, was the only Irish brand, which had achieved such a status.

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