GOVT ACQUIRES 40 PCT STAKE IN KENYAN SUBSIDIARY OF BANKNOTE PRINTER DE LA RUE

The Kenyan government has acquired a 40 per cent stake in De la Rue Kenya, the local subsidiary of the British banknote and security printer, which plans to upgrade the plant here to produce more than 1.5 billion banknotes in two years’ time.

De la Rue says the Nairobi plant will further be upgraded to become a global centre of excellence for printing of bank notes. Its Chief Executive officer, Martin Sutherland, said here Thursday the Nairobi plant would benefit from a 15 billion shillings (about 148 million US dollars) cash injection by the London-listed parent company.

The joint venture between the Kenyan government and De la Rue has been on the cards for more than 10 years but was delayed by questions raised by the Kenyan National Assembly on the viability of the project.

Early this year, the Cabinet finally gave the National Treasury the go-ahead to acquire a 40 per cent stake in the currency printing firm after the contract was re-negotiated. On Thursday, the two sides finally signed the deal for the acquisition of the 40 per cent which cost Kenyan taxpayers close to 700 million shillings.

In return, Treasury will now control 40 per cent shareholding in the company, have two directors on the board and appoint the chairperson of De la Rue Kenya.

De La Rue will modernize the Nairobi plant to print 1.5 billion notes in two years time. De la Rue Kenya already prints notes for close to 30 countries and plans to upgrade its systems to produce passports and high-end identification documents.

National Treasury Cabinet Secretary (Minister) Henry Rotich said the joint venture process was above board, noting that the De la Rue facility in Nairobi would become one of three manufacturing centres of rxcellence for banknote and security printing, identified as part of the group’s recent footprint review.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK