UPDATE 1-Fiskars to buy Royal Copenhagen for $86 mln
(Adds CEO comment, detail on Royal Copenhagen, Fiskars shares)
HELSINKI Dec 12 (Reuters) - Finnish kitchen utensils and tools group Fiskars is to buy Royal Copenhagen, the Danish maker of blue and white porcelain, for around 66 million euros ($86 million) from private equity group Axcel.
"Along with its world-class craftsmanship, Royal Copenhagen brings to Fiskars 30 years of valuable experience operating in Asia, which will support our growth strategy outside the Nordic markets," chief executive Kari Kauniskangas said on Wednesday.
Royal Copenhagen, founded in 1775 by the Danish royal family and whose main markets are Scandinavia and Japan, will add to Fiskars brands including Finnish traditional ceramics maker Arabia and the more contemporary kitchenware designer Iittala.
Fiskars said the deal, expected to close by March, will help boost earnings before interest and taxes from next year.
Royal Copenhagen has a factory in Thailand where it employs over 200 porcelain painters. In 2011, it reported net sales of 66 million euros and EBIT of 5 million.
Fiskars shares rose 1.1 percent in early trading. ($1 = 0.7693 euro) (Reporting by Ritsuko Ando; Editing by Dan Lalor)