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Predators eye rich pickings at banknote maker De La Rue

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Private equity suitors are circling troubled banknote maker De La Rue as they prepare to pick off its more promising businesses.

Shares in De La Rue, which lost the prestigious contract to print Britain’s post-Brexit blue passport last year, tumbled last month after the firm released the latest in a string of profit warnings.

Predators have now seized on this opportunity to look at snapping up De La Rue’s product authentication arm for a knock-down price.

Shares in De La Rue, which lost the prestigious contract to print Britain¿s post-Brexit blue passport last year, tumbled last month after the firm released its latest profit warnings

Shares in De La Rue, which lost the prestigious contract to print Britain¿s post-Brexit blue passport last year, tumbled last month after the firm released its latest profit warnings

Shares in De La Rue, which lost the prestigious contract to print Britain’s post-Brexit blue passport last year, tumbled last month after the firm released its latest profit warnings

Three private equity firms –one headquartered in the UK and two US firms with London offices – are weighing up a bid for the division.

De La Rue’s product authentication unit creates tracking software and physical labels to help prevent trade in fraudulent items, from cigarettes to official football shirts.

It has previously worked for major companies such as Microsoft, where it made labels for Microsoft’s products which included a hologram and hidden security features to verify their legitimacy.

But if the product authentication arm – on which De La Rue is pinning its hopes for growth – is sold, the 198-year-old company could be left floundering.

Shares in De La Rue, once a stalwart of the FTSE 250 index, have already plunged almost 75 per cent since rumours emerged in March 2018 that the company had lost the British passport contract to a French rival.

In the year to March 2019, De La Rue made revenues of £516.6million. Of this, £39.3million came from the product authentication business.

That unit also contributed £5.7million of profit to De Le Rue’s £60million total – though analysts expect product authentication’s profits to increase to between £18.7million and £20.7million in this current financial year.

That could mean the product authentication business is worth up to £200million, on one analyst’s reckoning.

But De La Rue’s troubles are weighing down its shares so much that currently the whole company is valued at just over £160million.

Talks within the private equity firms regarding a bid for De La Rue’s product authentication arm are currently at an early stage, the Mail understands.

A De La Rue spokesman declined to comment on ‘rumours and speculation’.

 

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Saudi Aramco to offer just 0.5% of shares to individual investors

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Saudi Aramco published its long-awaited prospectus over the weekend

Saudi Aramco published its long-awaited prospectus over the weekend

Saudi Aramco published its long-awaited prospectus over the weekend

Oil titan Saudi Aramco will offer just 0.5 per cent of its shares to individual investors when it floats.

The firm, owned by the Saudi Arabian state, published its long-awaited prospectus over the weekend. 

But the 658-page document was light on detail, and revealed nothing about how much the shares would be valued at, the total percentage of the company which would be sold, or a date for the stock market listing.

 

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Titanic manufacturer Harland & Wolff rescue deal moves ahead

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Rescuer deal: Harland & Wolff buyer Infrastrata is set to tap investors for £6m

Rescuer deal: Harland & Wolff buyer Infrastrata is set to tap investors for £6m

Rescuer deal: Harland & Wolff buyer Infrastrata is set to tap investors for £6m

It’s full steam ahead for the rescue of Titanic manufacturer Harland & Wolff as its buyer prepares to tap investors for £6million.

Energy firm Infrastrata will announce a placing of new shares to the market this morning for 0.3p each. 

It will use the cash to pay £5.25million for Harland & Wolff’s engineering assets, securing the future of the shipyard’s 70 employees.

 

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Chinese industrial giant poised to snap up British Steel in £70m deal

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Chinese industrial giant Jingye is set to pay £70m for British Steel

Chinese industrial giant Jingye is set to pay £70m for British Steel

Chinese industrial giant Jingye is set to pay £70m for British Steel

A CHINESE industrial giant could snap up British Steel within days, saving 4,000 jobs.

Jingye, founded by 69-year-old Li Ganpo, is set to pay £70m for the business, securing the future of its flagship Scunthorpe plant. 

Jingye pounced after rescue talks with Turkish investor Ataer fell through last month. 

The Chinese firm has vowed to pour money in and ‘never to sell British Steel to another buyer’.

 

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