British banknote printer De La Rue says receives approach

6th December 2010, Comments 0 comments

Banknote printer De La Rue said Monday that it received a takeover approach from an unnamed suitor, sending its shares soaring by a quarter, after weekend reports of a bid from French firm Oberthur.

De La Rue's share price rocketed 25.56 percent to 813 pence in early London trade, giving the group a market capitalisation of 845 million pounds (990 million euros, 1.33 billion dollars).

"De La Rue plc notes the recent press speculation and confirms that it has received a highly preliminary and opportunistic approach," the firm said in a short statement on Monday.

"There is no certainty that this highly preliminary approach will lead to an offer. A further announcement will be made as and when appropriate."

Oberthur Technologies declined to comment on Monday.

Sky News had reported on Sunday that Oberthur had offered 750 million pounds in cash for the British firm.

De La Rue, whose history dates back to 1813, is the world's largest printer of banknotes and produces currencies for more than 150 countries across the world.

The banknote printer, which employs around 4,000 staff in 24 nations, has struggled to overcome the impact of paper production irregularities that hit the company earlier this year.

© 2010 AFP

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