De La Rue finds US buyer for International Identity Solutions

By Rhys Handley, Thursday 13 June 2019

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De La Rue has sold its International Identity Solutions business to American specialist company HID Global for £42m.

martin-sutherland

Martin Sutherland will remain in post until a new chief executive is found

The sale completes a strategic review of the potential sale and will see Austin, Texas-headquartered HID acquire De La Rue’s international identity solutions contracts, associated software, passport assembly facilities in Malta, and certain printing contracts of security documents such as visas and birth, death and marriage certificates.

The deal is expected to be completed by the end of the calendar year, subject to regulatory approval and customary closing conditions. Basingstoke-headquartered De La Rue will continue to provide printing services to HID until March 2022.

“This proposal would enable De La Rue to invest more in technology and areas of strategic growth using the financial proceeds received from the proposed transaction while giving the International Identity Solutions business and its employees a clear opportunity for growth,” a De La Rue spokesperson told PrintWeek.

“It is too early to say how many jobs are impacted at this stage, as there will be an inevitable consultation process.

“Customers will see no change in current commitments and deliveries and will continue to receive the level of service they are accustomed to, coupled with enhanced expertise and investment in this area.”

The spokesperson identified growth areas for De La Rue going forward as product assurance and test (PA&T), security features and polymer. The sales of the identity solutions branch will not affect the company’s current UK passport contract, which runs out next month.

De La Rue has most recently taken headlines because of its loss of the passport contract to French rival Gemalto, who will subsequently be responsible for producing the infamous blue ‘Brexit’ passports.

Shares in the company fell by nearly 30% last month when it warned on its outlook and announced further restructuring along with the departure of chief executive Martin Sutherland.

Over a five-year tenure, Sutherland oversaw substantial strategic change at the group including the disposal of its banknote paper business last year. The search for a successor remains ongoing and he will remain in place to oversee the transition.

In last month’s results, De Le Rue’s sales for the full year, excluding paper, rose by 12% to £516.6m, while adjusted operating profits excluding exceptionals rose 6% to £60.1m.

Shares in De La Rue stood at 300.1p at the time of writing.

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