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Secure Transactions News

Oberthur - De La Rue deal cancelled

Thursday 27 January 2011

De La Rue refused Oberthur’s increased proposal, along with its financing plan, saying that the offer "significantly undervalued" the company and that after "careful consideration" the board had unanimously decided to reject the proposal.

Oberthur management, then, decided to withdraw, and declared they had no intention to make an offer for De La Rue.

Jean-Pierre Savare, President of Oberthur, said “Our Increased Proposal offered compelling and immediate value and was backed by our debt and equity partners. We have repeatedly sought to enter into constructive discussions with the Board of De La Rue over the last four months and we believe our approach could have offered a much needed catalyst to restore De La Rue’s reputation. The Board of De La Rue has not only rejected our approach but has also ignored requests for clarity to be given to the market in relation to fundamental questions about the Company’s customer relationships and financial prospects.”

Under Takeover Panel rules, Oberthur will be prohibited from returning with an offer for De La Rue for six months unless a rival bidder makes an approach or the UK company board’s recommends a deal.

De La Rue’s share price fell by 15% to GBP 6.95 (EUR 8.10) in the minutes after Oberthur’s move. They were trading at GBP 5.525 (EUR 6.44) before Oberthur disclosed its interest in November last year and at GBP 9.20 (EUR 10.72) last July, before the UK company admitted to production irregularities at one of its plants and the potential loss of a large customer, known to be the Reserve Bank of India.