De La Rue rejects improved Oberthur offer

De La Rue rejects improved Oberthur offer

British bank note maker De La Rue has rejected an improved, 935 pence a share, takeover offer from French suitor Oberthur.

In a statement, De La Rue says the board "carefully" considered the new offer, which values it at around £925 million, but has turned down the approach because it "significantly" undervalues the company.

Nicholas Brookes, chairman, De La Rue, says: "With the recent appointment of Tim Cobbold to lead a restructured and strengthened management team, the Board is confident that De La Rue has a promising future as an independent company."

De La Rue's management rejected Oberthur's first takeover offer of 905 pence a share, or nearly £900 million, in December, claiming it significantly undervalued the company.

The embattled firm has been on the defensive since last summer, when it was forced to suspended production at a Hampshire plant over "quality and production irregularities". It then 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. Earlier this month Oberthur stepped up the pressure, claiming the British bank note maker recently lost out on a major order from the Royal Bank of India.

De La Rue shares were down 11 pence, or 1.3%, at 809 pence in afternoon trading.

Update Oberthur has said that it will cease its takeover attempt and withdraw from making an improved bid offer.

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