De La Rue

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De La Rue plc
Public limited company
Traded as LSEDLAR
Industry Printing
Founded 1821
Headquarters Basingstoke, Hampshire, United Kingdom
Key people
Revenue £454.5 million (2016)[1]
£66.8 million (2016)[1]
£54.9 million (2016)[1]
Website www.delarue.com

De La Rue plc (UK: /ˈdɛlər/, US: /ˌdɛləˈr/) is a British banknote manufacturing, security printing of passports and tax stamps, brand authentication and paper-making company with headquarters in Basingstoke, Hampshire, England. It also has a factory on the Team Valley Trading Estate, Gateshead, and other facilities at Loughton, Essex, and Bathford, Somerset.[2] There are overseas offices in Kenya, Sri Lanka and Malta. It is listed on the London Stock Exchange.

History[edit]

The company was founded by Thomas de la Rue (1793–1866), who moved from Guernsey to London in 1821 and set up in business as a 'Leghorn' straw hat maker, then as a stationer and printer.[3] In 1831 he secured his business a Royal Warrant to produce playing cards. In 1855 it started printing postage stamps and in 1860 banknotes.[3] In 1896, the family partnership was converted into a private company.[3]

In 1921, the de la Rue family sold their interests.[3] The company was first listed on the London Stock Exchange in 1947.[3] Then called Thomas De La Rue & Company, Limited, it changed its name in 1958 to The De La Rue Company Limited.[3] A takeover bid for De La Rue was made by the Rank Organisation plc in 1968, but this was rejected by the Monopolies commission as being against the public interest.[4] In 1991 the company's name was changed again – this time to De La Rue plc.[3]

In 1965 De La Rue established a joint venture with the Italian printer and inventor Gualtiero Giori called De La Rue Giori. Based in Switzerland, the company specialized in building banknote printing equipment.[5]

In 1995, the company acquired Portals Limited from the Portal family. For almost 300 years Portals had been regarded as the leading banknote paper manufacturer in the world, having manufactured banknote paper for the Bank of England since 1724.[6]

In 1997, De La Rue acquired Harrison and Sons, the stamp and banknote printers based in High Wycombe. The factory closed permanently in 2003.[7]

In 2003, the company acquired the Debden-based banknote printing operations of the Bank of England.[8]

In 2003 and 2004 the company supplied banknotes to Iraq.[9][10]

The company was recognised by Hermann Simon as a role model for other small- to medium-sized businesses in his book Hidden Champions.[11]

The Highest Perfection,[12] a history of De La Rue was published in 2011. Written by Peter Pugh for De La Rue, it covered the years 1712–2003.[12]

In August 2014, the company announced the appointment of Martin Sutherland (formerly of BAE Systems Applied Intelligence) as chief executive officer.[13]

In 2016, the Cash Handling division (Cash Processing Systems) was sold to Privet Capital.

In September 2016 The Bank of England issued the new UK five pound note, the first UK note to be printed on polymer.[14][citation needed]

In December 2016 the company announced it will acquire the DuPont Authentication division.[15][16]

In March 2018, the company sold the paper business which will now trade independently. De La Rue retains a 10% share in the new business, Portals.[17]

In April 2018, the company decided to appeal against the decision of the British government to manufacture their Post-Brexit passports in France. [18]

Operations[edit]

The Debden Security Printing Ltd printing facility, owned by De La Rue, which prints Bank of England banknotes.

Banknotes[edit]

De La Rue sells high-security paper and printing technology for over 150 national currencies.[19]

Security printing and papermaking[edit]

De La Rue also produces a wide range of other secure documents, including:[19]

Past products[edit]

Playing cards[edit]

In 1843 De La Rue established its first overseas trade, as de la Rue's brother Paul travelled to Russia to advise on the making of playing cards. Thomas de la Rue's designs for playing cards are the basis for the modern standard design. The playing card business was sold to John Waddington in 1969.[20]

Postage stamps[edit]

The company has also printed postage stamps for the United Kingdom and some of its colonies, for Italy and for the Confederate States of America. Some famous stamps such as the Cape of Good Hope triangulars were printed by De La Rue & Co. after Perkins Bacon fell out of favour with the postal authorities of the time. The first 50 years of postage stamp production were chronicled in John Easton's The De La Rue History of British and Foreign Postage Stamps 1855–1901 (Faber & Faber, London, 1958).

Writing instruments[edit]

De La Rue claims to have developed the first practical fountain pen in 1881 and was a leading manufacturer of fountain pens in Britain. Products were marketed under the "Onoto" brand. Production of fountain pens by De La Rue ceased in Britain in 1958 but continued for a few more years in Australia.[21]

Board games[edit]

During the 1930s De La Rue created a number of board games. These included a cricket game, Stumpz, which was produced in a number of different editions, and Round The Horn, a game which re-created the then annual race of grain-laden, square-rigged sailing cargo ships from Australia to London. The games consisted of high quality components and used playing cards as part of the component set.[22]

Gallery of products produced by De La Rue[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c (PDF) http://www.delarue.com/~/media/Files/D/DeLaRue-V2/reports-and-presentations/reports/2016rep/de-la-rue-ar-2016.pdf.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  2. ^ "How did Libyan money come to be printed in Britain?". BBC. 2 September 2011. Retrieved 2 September 2011. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g De La Rue History[permanent dead link]
  4. ^ Competition Commission Reports Archived 4 March 2009 at the Wayback Machine.
  5. ^ International Directory of Company Histories, Volume 34 (2000), p. 141
  6. ^ "Cash machine". The Economist. 11 August 2012. Retrieved 28 March 2015. 
  7. ^ "Up to 350 jobs to go at printing firm". Your Local Guardian. 7 October 2002. Retrieved 28 March 2015. 
  8. ^ Bank of England: Sale of Bank Note Printing Operations
  9. ^ Moore, By James. "Iraq windfall gives lift to De La Rue". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 4 January 2017. 
  10. ^ "De La Rue shares surge on deal to print new banknotes for post-Saddam". The Independent. 8 July 2003. Retrieved 4 January 2017. 
  11. ^ Simon, Hermann: Hidden Champions of the 21st Century : Success Strategies of unknown World Market Leaders. London: Springer, 2009.- ISBN 978-0-387-98147-5.
  12. ^ a b Pugh, Peter (2011). The Highest Perfection. Icon Books Ltd. ISBN 978-184831-335-4. 
  13. ^ "Banknote printer De La Rue appoints BAE's Sutherland as boss". The Telegraph. 29 August 2014. Retrieved 8 November 2014. 
  14. ^ "The New Fiver has been issued | Bank of England". www.bankofengland.co.uk. Retrieved 4 January 2017. 
  15. ^ "De La Rue to Acquire DuPont Authentication Business | Healthcare Packaging". www.healthcarepackaging.com. Retrieved 4 January 2017. 
  16. ^ Goldsmith, Courtney (12 December 2016). "De La Rue shares rise after it says it will acquire DuPont Authentication". Retrieved 4 January 2017. 
  17. ^ https://polaris.brighterir.com/public/de_la_rue/news/rns/story/xp0p7mw
  18. ^ Elgot, Jessica (2018-04-02). "Post-Brexit passports contract: De La Rue to appeal against decision". the Guardian. Retrieved 2018-04-03. 
  19. ^ a b "About us". delarue.com. Archived from the original on 25 June 2014. Retrieved 28 March 2015. 
  20. ^ Wintle. "History of De La Rue". The World of Playing Cards. Retrieved 28 March 2015. 
  21. ^ "History of Onoto Pens". onoto.com. Archived from the original on 23 April 2015. Retrieved 28 March 2015. 
  22. ^ "Stumpz by Thos. de la Rue & Co. Ltd". replaycricket.com. Archived from the original on 2 April 2015. Retrieved 28 March 2015. 

External links[edit]