De La Rue prints Britain’s currency as well as the Royal Mail’s stamps, British passports, driving licenses, credit cards and banknotes for over 150 countries across the globe. It employs nearly 4,000 highly skilled workers in one of the most lucrative areas of British manufacturing industry. The nearly 200-year-old company is now under siege from private equity companies and the French-owned company Oberthur, which has launched an opportunistic takeover bid.
The union Unite is campaigning to stop the takeover. The deal would follow on a long line of British companies – Cadbury, BAA, P&O, Abbey National, Corus, Scottish and Newcastle – taken over, asset stripped, their production in Britain closed and ill-gotten gains and control shipped abroad in recent years.
Previous attempts to take over De La Rue have been blocked on grounds of being against the national interest. Will the Coalition dare stand up to the private equity bankers? Will Britain’s currency and stamps soon be rolling off French printing presses? Defending De La Rue is part of defending Britain’s sovereignty. British banknotes, stamps and passports must be made in Britain.