Time magazine November 2007
We will have a completely different type of Waterford. Waterford Wedgwood will be a very profitable business in eight to 12 months.
This was Tony OReillys prediction to the prestigious Time magazine, along with a bullish claim that the newspaper industry was growing quite slowly, but it is growing.
Now the predictions have turned to sand.
Problems at Waterford Wedgwood come at a unfortunate time for Sir Anthony, who is also grappling with 1.4 billion of debts at Independent News & Media (IN&M), his ( separate) media group. Although the two companies are entirely separate, both are under pressure, with IN&M trying to offload its Australian business to reduce debts.
No one can say that the boss of Irish and UK Independent newspapers including the Belfast Telegraph, ducks a challenge. But with cost-cutting proceeding apace, is the time coming close for predator Denis O’Brien to strike or form an unholy alliance with OReilly? The odds on a sale even of shrinking cash cow the Belfast Telegraph must gradually be shortening, as O’Reilly’s house of cards, already fragile before the onslaught of recession, starts to wobble.