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Pottery-giant taken over by American investor

Pottery being shaped at Steelite International Credit: ITV News Central

It has been announced that Stoke-on-Trent pottery-giant Steelite International has been acquired by an American investor.

According to the Stoke Sentinel, the 1,000 people who work at the tableware manufacturer are being reassured that their jobs are safe.

The company has been bought out by Americas division President John Miles, and PNC Riverarch Capital. Mr Miles has also been appointed the CEO of Steelite International.

John Miles said:

We will continue the investment in the manufacturing sector to improve efficiencies, service levels and provide value added to our customers.

I look forward to working with our management team to grow and improve the business.

– John Miles
  1. National

Pensions were 'not on my table', Sir Philip Green says

The billionaire said that he was not involved in BHS pensions talks.

Sir Philip Green said that poor two-way conversation was responsible for the £571m BHS pension deficit but added the issue was "not on my table".

He said he was not involved in talks and that between 2000 and 2012 he had little idea about the state of the pension scheme.

I was not actively involved in pension conversations. Maybe if I had of been... we all wouldn't be sitting here, but I wasn't.

– Sir Philip Green

Karen Buck MP asked: "Do you recall what the state of the pension fund was in 2006 after the years in which, as we've already heard, there were very substantial dividends taken from the company?"

"I don't think that's very fair," Sir Philip replied. "We put back £750m, everybody wants to ignore that."

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  1. National

'Poor communication' to blame for BHS pension deficit

Ex-BHS boss Sir Philip Green said that poor communication with the trustees was to blame for the £571m pension deficit which covered 20,000 current and past employees.

If pension trustees and auditors had spoken to us on day we bought the company, we could have fixed this mess. There was poor communication on both sides. I'm not blaming anybody.

– Sir Philip Green
  1. National

Sir Philip Green: £600m was pumped into BHS

The ex-owner of BHS Sir Philip Green told MPs that £600 million was invested into the business between 2004 and 2015.

He has come in for criticism for taking £400 million in dividends out of the firm during his 15-year ownership.

Sir Philip, who sold the Arcadia retail empire to former bankrupt Dominic Chappell for £1 in 2015, said he first started thinking about selling the business in 2014.

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