Stephen Webster signs over intellectual property

Jewellery designer passes control to US business magnate Ron Burkle.

It would appear that Stephen Webster has signed over control of the majority of his company to a US business magnate, according to a report in The Sunday Times.

Documents filed on Companies House show that Webster has signed over his intellectual property rights to US tycoon Ron Burkle’s private equity investment vehicle Yucaipa Global Partnership Fund.

Webster has also pledged insurance policies, leasehold and freehold properties, the use of his logo, as part of signing over his intellectual property rights, and his operating bank accounts.

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Webster has drawn up a pledge document between his business and Burkle’s that states that the jewellery designer has assigned all rights, title and interest “now existing or thereafter arising”.

Getting Burkle – who has interest in several other businesses including Wild Oats Markets, the Pittsburgh Penguins and Barnes & Noble – involved in the business in such a major way would suggest that Webster is looking for financial assistance with his company.

Stephen Webster Ltd is five months late in filing its accounts and in the past six months it has filed seven mortgage charges with Companies House.

The most recent accounts available for Stephen Webster on Companies House, dated to March 2009, show that the business made a pre-tax loss of £3.6 million on sales of £8 million. The pre-tax loss had deepened from the previous accounts which showed a loss of £1.2 million.

Stephen Webster was unavailable for comment at the time of publishing.

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