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Industry

De La Rue under investigation

The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has confirmed it is investigating De La Rue regarding suspected corruption in South Sudan.

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De La Rue is under investigation by the Serious Fraud Office. Photo: SFO

In a brief statement the SFO stated it had opened an investigation “into the activities of the De La Rue Group and its associated persons in relation to suspected corruption in South Sudan”.

De La Rue shared its own statement, in which it says the company “intends to co-operate with the SFO in its investigation”.

The statement continues: “Given the early stage of these matters, it is not possible to predict reliably what effect their outcome may have on De La Rue. The company will provide a further update as and when appropriate.”

South Sudan gained independence from the Republic of the Sudan in 2011, at which time De La Rue was appointed to design and print the new country’s banknotes. 

Given the early stage of these matters, it is not possible to predict reliably what effect their outcome may have on De La Rue

The 206-year-old security printing firm has been plagued with troubles since losing the contract to print the new post-Brexit passports for Britain.

Chief executive officer Martin Sutherland announced he would be stepping down following two profit warnings and the loss of the £490m passport printing contract in the UK. 

De La Rue is also expecting to take an £18m hit due to unpaid bills from the Central Bank of Venezuela due to non-UK related sanctions.

Shares in De La Rue plunged 16% after the SFO announced the investigation and are now down more than 50% over the last 12 months.

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