De La Rue

De La Rue is a publicly traded security printing company based in London. It is the largest supplier of banknotes, responsible for more than 150 national currencies as well as security documents, passports, and identification systems. Like most companies of its caliber, it also offers specialty services, cash handling systems, and related softwares.

Origin story: not too mythic, this one. Thomas de la Rue moves to London in early 19th century, receives a Royal warrant to produce playing cards in 1831, and his printing business takes off from there. Starts printing banknotes in 1860. In 1921 the de la Rue family sells their interests, and the company is first listed on the stock marted in 1947.

De La Rue is basically the currency producer, and they often are involved in the highest-profile currency contracts. For example, in 2003 they were contracted by the United States to print a new, post-Saddam Iraqi  dinar. In the last few years their reputation has taken some serious hits, and they’re still fighting to get back to where they once were. In 2010, they were investigated by British authorities after CEO James Hussey stepped down from his position citing “certain quality and production irregularities” at a paper plant. Paper specification test certificates were determined to have been deliberately falsified, related to a contract with the Reserve Bank of India. The contract with India was suspended, and stock prices suffered.

Competitor Oberthur Fiduciaire stepped in with a share takeover proposal, which De La Rue repeatedly turned down (even when the offering price per share was significantly higher than market price), calling it “opportunistic.” It seems like it was taken very persionally (again with the reputation business).

With a new CEO on board in 2011, De La Rue started working their way out of that mess with a contract to print banknotes for the brand-new nation of South Sudan, as well as the project of designing and printing a new UK passport. At this point in time (6/14/12) De La Rue stands to gain a lot from a potential Greek exit from the EU, as the country would need an entirely new currency

De La Rue is publicly traded on the London Stock Exchange (DLAR), and is on the FTSE 250 index. The company employs approximately 4000 people worldwide. Their 2012 annual EPS was .44 pounds, revenue $528 million.

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BBC. “Analysis: Preparing for Eurogeddon.” BBC Radio 4. 20 May 2012.

Jolly, David. “Inquiry into Paper for Bank Notes.” New York Times. 7 September 2010.

Luck, Adam. “What went wrong with the British Company with a License to Print Money?” Daily Mail. 16 October 2010.

Moore, James. “Iraq windfall gives lift to De La Rue.” The Telegraph. 20 September 2003.

Rigby, Jennifer. “Lessons for Greece from Czech-Slovak Split.” Prague Post. 13 June 2012.

Sibun, Jonathan. “De La Rue finds its reputation restored.” The Telegraph. 27 November 2011.

Stevens, Susannah. “Who, What, Why: How would Greece switch currencies.” BBC News. 11 June 2012.

Wallop, Harry. “De La Rue silent on deal to print Drachma.” The Telegraph. 29 May 2012.

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  1. […] De La Rue – publicly traded, listed on the London Stock Market (DLAR) […]



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