(Reuters) – The UK’s Serious Fraud Office has opened an investigation into British banknote and passport printer De La Rue over “suspected corruption” in its business in South Sudan, sending shares to a 16-year low.
“Given the early stage of these matters, it is not possible to predict reliably what effect their outcome may have on De La Rue,” the company said in a statement on Tuesday.
De La Rue said it intends to cooperate with the SFO in its investigation.
The investigation is a further setback for De La Rue, which produces passports for 40 countries, after it said in May that its chief executive would quit and it warned of a profit downturn this year.
Shares in the company fell as much as 17.4% to 246 pence at 1311 GMT, hitting their lowest since July 2003.
(Reporting by Justin George Varghese in Bengaluru, editing by Louise Heavens/Keith Weir)