The SFO probe into De La Rue’s activities in South Sudan was announced in July 2019, under the tenure of former CEO Martin Sutherland.
It was one of a slew of bad news stories for the group and resulted in the PLC’s shares falling to a new five-year low at the time.
Vacher took over two-and-a-half months later, in October.
This morning (16 June), the SFO issued a brief statement, that said: “Following extensive investigation and a thorough and detailed review of the available evidence, the SFO has concluded that this case did not meet the relevant test for prosecution as defined in the Code for Crown Prosecutors.”
Charging decisions are made on the basis of a test that specifies that evidence “must support a realistic prospect of conviction” and that the prosecution “must be in the public interest.”
In response to the news, De La Rue commented: “De La Rue is pleased that the SFO has closed its investigation and that the SFO is taking no further action in respect of this matter.”
South Sudan became independent from Sudan in July 2011. At the time De La Rue pulled out all the stops to plan, design and print a new range of currency for the fledgling nation in just six months, a third of the time usually taken for a project of that nature.
In early trading this morning shares in De La Rue jumped by 15% to 167.62p following the news.
The firm also received a boost at the beginning of this month, when it announced that its authentication technology could be used to help citizens prove they have Covid-19 immunity.
De La Rue will announce its full year results tomorrow.