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Cumbrian makers of new £5 note bought by Canadian packaging firm

The firm that makes the controversial new plastic £5 note has been bought by Canada's CCL for 1.13 billion Canadian dollars (£680 million).

Cumbria-based Innovia, which has 1,200 employees worldwide, makes most of the polymer bank notes globally.

Its new £5 note for the Bank of England has attracted controversy after it was found to contain animal fat, drawing widespread criticism and sparking a 132,000-strong petition to ban the note.

The Bank said last month Innovia was looking at "potential solutions" to the issue and was "aware of some people's concerns" about traces of the derivative, known as tallow, in its polymer note since being introduced into circulation in September.

Canadian group CCL Industries is buying Innovia from a consortium of private equity investors, managed by The Smithfield Group.

CCL said the deal will see it become a world leader in the fast-growing market for polymer notes.

Innovia chief executive Mark Robertshaw said CCL would be "an excellent long-term owner".

Innovia is headquartered in Wigton, Cumbria, and operates four manufacturing sites worldwide.

But its production process for the £5 note involving tallow has sparked fury among vegetarians and vegans.

Doug Maw, who started the petition against its use, said last month he was "disgusted" a more suitable alternative had not been sourced.

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