De La Rue confirms bid approach

De La Rue confirms bid approach

Following media speculation that it is the subject of a takeover bid from Oberthur Technologies, troubled UK banknote manufacturer De La Rue has confirmed it has received a "highly preliminary and opportunistic approach".

The world's biggest bank note producer issued a brief statement after Sky News reported that it had received a £750 million takeover offer from French firm Oberthur, prompting shares to soar by more than 20%.

The note maker says: "There is no certainty that this highly preliminary approach will lead to an offer. A further announcement will be made as and when appropriate."

Last month De La Rue rocked the City with a £35 million first half charge over paper quality problems at one its UK plants. In July it was forced to suspended production at a Hampshire plant over "quality and production irregularities" and the following month CEO James Hussey quit, saying he had to take responsibility for the problem.

De La Rue called in the Serious Fraud Office after establishing that staff "deliberately falsified" paper specification test certificates on banknotes believed to be destined for India. In a trading update in November the company warned its production problems could lead to the loss of a top customer, knocking its shares to a four-year low.

Shares in De La Rue were up 23.3%, or 151.5 pence, at 799.5 pence in morning trading.

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