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Fairfax Financial Holdings buys William Ashley, ensuring that all fancy tea parties can still be had

Fairfax Financial Holdings buys William Ashley, ensuring that all fancy tea parties can still be had

Yesterday, Fairfax Financial Holdings announced that it had bought family-owned Canadian retailer William Ashley, though the terms of this purchase have not been disclosed. Dean Stark, spokesperson for the Stark family (who have owned the company for over 50 years) said they were “excited to sell [their] company to Fairfax, not only because of its significant financial strength, but also because of its access to global markets and history of decentralized, long-term support for entrepreneurial businesses.” Prem Watsa, chairman and CEO of Fairfax, responded, “We look forward to working with Jackie Chiesa, president of William Ashley, who has been with the company for over 30 years. This acquisition is consistent with our interest in acquiring businesses from entrepreneurial founders who want to find a long-term home for their business.” We just hope this big business move doesn’t make anyone lose sight of what we see as the real mission of William Ashley: supplying china for ladies who lunch, weddings and gifts for the grandmother we continue to neglect.

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