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Wedgwoods bid for family firm

Members of the Wedgwood family have mounted a bid to retake control of the pottery firm, pitching them head-to-head with Clarion Capital, the US private equity firm that made an offer for the Waterford Wedgwood business over the weekend.

A consortium-led by Tom R Wedgwood and Tom D Wedgwood, eighth-generation descendants of the original founder, Josiah Wedgwood, has made a "serious bid" to buy back the family business, which could see the Wedgwood brand ending its 22-year merger with Waterford Crystal, said sources.

The Wedgwoods areunderstood to want to transfer production and design back to the Potteries in Staffordshire, as a selling point for overseas customers, from factories in the Far East. They are thought to be backed by investors in the Middle East.

Last month, Tom R Wedgwood, who was a director of Wedgwood in Japan until three weeks ago, said: "I am passionate about Wedgwood. It epitomises all that is great about British manufacturing – skilled craftsmen and design and a global brand that represents quality and luxury."