British banknote printer De La Rue appoints new chief

13th December 2010, Comments 0 comments

De La Rue, the world's largest printer of banknotes that is currently mulling a takeover approach from a French rival, said Monday it had chosen Tim Cobbold to be its new chief executive.

Cobbold, former chief executive of British power systems group Chloride, is taking over from James Hussey, who resigned in August after De La Rue revealed banknote production failures.

The appointment comes one week after French banknote printer and chip card maker Oberthur announced a takeover bid for De La Rue worth about 900 million pounds (1.1 billion euros, 1.4 billion dollars).

"We are delighted that Tim will be joining De La Rue as chief executive on 1 January," the British group's interim chief executive Nicholas Brookes said in a statement.

"His wealth of experience, including of international business at the most senior level, will be invaluable to De La Rue both in the short term as we work to resolve current uncertainties and in the longer term as we continue to build our global brand and international customer base."

De La Rue, which employs 4,000 staff across 24 countries, has struggled to overcome the impact of paper production irregularities that hit the company earlier this year.

Cobbold said he was looking forward "to demonstrating De La Rue's fundamental value by building on its core strengths as an independent company and growing value for its shareholders".

De La Rue, whose history dates to 1813, produces currencies for more than 150 countries.

© 2010 AFP

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