June 16, 2020 / 6:28 AM / 23 days ago

SFO ends probe in to De La Rue's South Sudan dealings

(Reuters) - Banknote printer De La Rue (DLAR.L) said on Tuesday Britain’s Serious Fraud Office had closed a year-long investigation into “suspected corruption” in the company’s business conduct in South Sudan with no further action.

Shares in the company, which holds the contract to design and print the Bank of England’s new polymer notes, were seen rising more than 10%, according to premarket indicators.

“De La Rue is pleased that the SFO has closed its investigation and that the SFO is taking no further action in respect of this matter,” it said in a statement.

The company has designed and printed all new currency of South Sudan since its secession from the north in 2011.

The over 200-year old company has faced its share of setbacks in the past few years, including the loss of a 400 million pound contract for Britain’s new passports, multiple profit warnings and a mounting debt pile.

De La Rue Chief Executive Officer Clive Vacher, who took charge late last year, conceded in February that “considerable” work was needed at the company as he unveiled plans to improve profitability by reining in costs and investing in polymer notes.

Reporting by Yadarisa Shabong in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D'Silva

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