All change in security printing

Major moves are happening in the global security print equipment sector as De La Rue has bought Du Pont’s security printing business, while rival manufacturer KBA has formed a new start-up to research banknote security.

DuPont will sell its global Authentication business to De La Rue, a leading anti-counterfeiting solutions provider serving both commercial and government customers. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed. De la Rue is world’s largest designer and commercial printer of banknotes.

DuPont Authentication manufactures and sells photopolymer films focused on anti-counterfeiting applications, including brand protection and secure ID. The sale is expected to close by the end of 2016, subject to customary closing conditions.

Meanwhile newly founded KBA joint venture coverno GmbH will start research on banknote security and authentication as of January. The start-up company was founded on November 29 as a co-operation between the Institute for Industrial Information Technology (inIT) of the Ostwestfalen-Lippe (OWL) university and KBA.

KBA has a partnership with De La Rue which was formerly the Giori banknote printing business. Komori is also in the market with its Chambon business, as is Goebel.

Despite the rise of the digital economy and the belief amongst some commentators that governments are driving to cashless societies the banknote press manufacturers say that banknotes will continue to play a major part in financial transactions, and in fact they predict banknote usage will grow.

Commenting on the Du Pont acquisition, Martin Sutherland, CEO of De La Rue said, “Governments and brand owners around the world are increasingly focused on protecting their supply chains from counterfeiting and protecting both revenues and customers from illicit trade. This is a key area of growth for De La Rue, and in line with our strategy, we are delighted to be acquiring a business with a strong portfolio, global customers and a committed and talented workforce. These complement our existing offerings well, and will strengthen our portfolio to help compete more effectively in this market.” 

As part of the transaction, De La Rue will acquire DuPont Authentication’s Logan, Utah, manufacturing facility and employees, a research and development team in Wilmington, Del., global salespeople, three brands (DuPont Izon, Traceology and Omnidex), customer information, and other relevant intellectual property.  

“This agreement is driven by our strategic plan to focus our investments and resources in our core Advanced Printing businesses,” says Jon D. Kemp, president, DuPont Electronics & Communications. “Anti-counterfeiting solutions are a core market growth area for De La Rue, and we believe our employees and our customers that will transition to De La Rue will benefit from their leadership in the identity sector.”

De La Rue’s purpose is to enable every citizen to participate securely in the global economy. As a trusted partner of governments, central banks and commercial organizations, De La Rue provides products and services that underpin the integrity of trade, personal identity and the movement of goods.

De La Rue designs, manufactures and delivers banknotes, banknote substrates and security features to customers in a world where currency will continue to be a key part of the developing payments eco-system. De La Rue is the only fully integrated supplier of both paper and polymer banknotes, and creates security features that ensure banknotes are protected against counterfeiting.

De La Rue is the world’s largest commercial printer of passports, delivering national and international identity tokens and software solutions for governments in a world that is increasingly focused on the importance of a legal and secure identity for every individual.

De La Rue also creates and delivers secure product identifiers and ‘track and trace’ software for governments and commercial customers alike to help to tackle the challenge of illicit or counterfeit goods and the collection of revenue and excise duties.

Johannes Scheade, technical director at KBA-NotaSys and long-term project partner explains: “For us this is an opportunity to work together with the researchers of one of the best institutions in Europe on the topic of banknote security in the context of Industry 4.0 and digitisation.”

“The foundation of a common activity between companies and the university on our campus is an opportunity to mix the complex work of research with the creation of a useable product and the creation of value”, says university director Oliver Hermann.  

Professor Volker Lohweg, board member of inIT and closely involved in the creation of the new company is convinced that the close cooperation in the creation of systems for banknote security and authentication will create a tremendous value for the partners, he says, “Now we can use our worldwide recognised research results and transfer this knowledge in the new company. I am happy that we can further intensify the cooperation in CIIT.”

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