Belfast Telegraph

Oberthur gives up on De La Rue takeover

French firm Oberthur ditched plans to take over bank-note printer De La Rue after its latest approach was rejected.

Paris-based Oberthur, which increased its proposal from 905p to 935p a share over the weekend, said it pulled its indicative bid in the face of "the continued refusal of the board of De La Rue to engage in meaningful discussions".

De La Rue, which has been plagued by the fall-out from production problems earlier this year, said the offer - valuing the firm at £926m - undervalued the company. Shares in the printer firm plunged 15% after news of Oberthur's withdrawal. De La Rue's shares are now down by around 10% since the production problems that caused its chief executive James Hussey to resign and which have cost the group £35m to date.

Oberthur, a 170-year-old company, called for a clearer picture of the production problems and full details of the issues which arose with a "principal customer", understood to be the Reserve Bank of India.

De La Rue, which prints notes for the Bank of England and 150 other countries, said in its half-year results in November that volumes were set to drop 20% this year following the crisis.

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