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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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Business

Death toll in coronavirus outbreak jumps to 106, nearly 1,300 new cases

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The total number of confirmed cases is now more than 4,000 nationwide, says health commission.

AFP | PTI  |  Wuhan (China) 

The death toll from a outbreak in China has soared to 106 while nearly 1,300 new cases have been confirmed, authorities said Tuesday.


The health commission in central Hubei province, the epicentre of the epidemic, said 24 more people had died from the virus and 1,291 more people were infected, raising the total number of confirmed cases to more than 4,000 nationwide.

First Published: Tue, January 28 2020. 07:00 IST

Source: Business Standard

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Best of BS Opinion: Trends in the new year, India’s jobs crisis, and more

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Policymakers must be commended for the measures they have taken to arrest the slowdown, says Sajjid Chinoy

From the business point of view, the year 2020 is already momentous. Shailesh Dobhal gives details of eventful occurrences

Wage earners are shrinking in the unorganised and organised sectors, are growing. Mahesh Vyas discusses the employment mess

OUR EDIT SAYS

Do not reduce devolution to the states

QUOTE

People tend to be very cautious… this time it is absolutely clear, there is clarity in our approach (towards Air India)

Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Puri

First Published: Tue, January 28 2020. 06:20 IST

Source: Business Standard

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RBS cleared over property developer’s claim it ruined his business

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Dismissed: Oliver Morley had claimed RBS's controversial Global Restructuring Group placed him under 'economic duress'

Dismissed: Oliver Morley had claimed RBS's controversial Global Restructuring Group placed him under 'economic duress'

Dismissed: Oliver Morley had claimed RBS’s controversial Global Restructuring Group placed him under ‘economic duress’

A propertydeveloper who was trying to sue Royal Bank of Scotland for ruining his business has lost his case.

Oliver Morley had claimed RBS’s controversial Global Restructuring Group (GRG) placed him under ‘economic duress’, which led to some of his properties being seized by the bank and sold for a profit. But in a High Court judgment yesterday, the claim was dismissed.

Mr Justice Kerr found that RBS did not breach its duty to exercise reasonable care and skill when dealing with Morley, that its actions were rationally connected to its commercial interests, and that the bank did not engineer a default on Morley’s loan.

 

 

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