G4S teams with Oberthur for B of E banknote bid

by JJP

Bank of England New Banknote Printing Contract De La Rue Oberthur G4S

Posted on Monday, September 30, 2013

 

According to reports circulated on Friday Sept. 27th by Reuters, G4S and Oberthur plan to bid for the next contract to print the Bank of England’s currency.

The current contract held by De la Rue is up for renewal in 2015. The UK based security printer presently runs the Bank’s security printing plant in Debden (Essex) and supplies the banknote paper from its high security paper mill in Basingstoke. De La Rue reported developments in the field of polymer substitute materials last year and the B of E is currently running a public consultation program on the acceptability of plastic banknotes by the general public.

The G4S plan is for the Company to supply cash handling services whilst France based Oberthur supplies the manufacturing expertise.

G4S has a poor reputation after failings in its management led to shortfalls in a contract last year to supply guards for the London Olympics. Oberthur has a long pedigree of supplying banknotes and is highly respected in the industry. Oberthur has been involved in several De la Rue acquisition attempts over the last few years, none of which gained any traction.

Other interested parties linked to the bid are Germany based Giesecke & Devrient – banknote paper makers and printers - and Landqart based in Switzerland, but owned by Canadian Fortress Paper. The latter is assumed to be only interested as a security paper supplier unless it teams with another high security banknote printer such as Orell Füssli (pure speculation at this stage).

UK based Innovia Security is also mentioned in the Reuters report. This supplier of Guardian® polymer banknote substrates acquired a 50% share of Australia’s Securency last February. All banknotes in Australia are produced on polymer substrates which are practical in climates where heat and humidity are prevalent.

 


About Jeremy Plimmer

Jeremy Plimmer has 35 years of experience in the security related print and packaging industry working originally as sales development director for manufacturers of passports, high security print and labels and more recently as a consultant. He is a graduate member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing, a Fellow of the Institute of Minerals, Materials and Mining, chairman of the West Midlands Packaging Society as well as vice chairman of the East Midlands Packaging Society.

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