In a foreign takeover battle that could reverberate among U.S. financial institutions, cards maker Oberthur offered to acquire Britain’s venerable bank notes and cash machine manufacturer De La Rue for $1.4 billion, but the offer was rejected as insufficient.
The offer comes as De La Rue is recovering from a summer scandal in which deficiencies in its paper were disclosed. Shares in De La Rue, which prints money for more than 150 countries, have fallen by about a third since mid-year when it disclosed problems with paper production. The world’s biggest banknote printer said in its half-year results in November that volumes are set to drop 20% this year following the crisis, which suspended production and a shipment of the affected banknote for two months.
De La Rue also provides coin counting machines and ATMs in the U.S. market, while Oberthur is the biggest provider of blank plastic cards, among other ventures.
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