De La Rue is to sell its passport division for £42m after losing key Government contract, putting 200 jobs at risk
- The 198-year-old company is selling its International Identity Solutions arm
- It is being purchased for £42 million by Swedish rival HID Global
- De La Rue will focus on making security features for travel documents
High-tech printing firm De La Rue will no longer make passports after losing its key contract with the British Government
High-tech printing firm De La Rue will no longer make passports after losing its key contract with the British Government, putting 200 jobs at risk.
The 198-year-old company, which also prints banknotes, is selling its International Identity Solutions arm for £42 million to Swedish rival HID Global, sparking fears for its Gateshead facility.
The deal comes after De La Rue failed to win a contract to produce British passports beyond 2020, losing out to Franco-Dutch firm Gemalto.
It will instead focus on making the security features that go into the travel documents – a line of work it says is more profitable.
HID will take on most of the division’s contracts, its software and a passport factory in Malta. De La Rue said it would provide printing services to HID Global until March 2022.
Chief executive Martin Sutherland, 50, said in a statement: ‘We believe exiting the end-to-end identity solutions market is the right one for the group and will deliver the most value to shareholders.’
Sutherland’s departure was announced last month after De La Rue revealed a 77 per cent fall in annual profits to £25.5 million.