UK's SFO probes De La Rue over 'suspected corruption' in South Sudan

UK's SFO probes De La Rue over 'suspected corruption' in South Sudan
FILE PHOTO: The corporate logo of De La Rue is seen at De La Rue Malta at Bulebel Industrial Estate in Zejtun, Malta April 24, 2018. REUTERS/Darrin Zammit Lupi/File Photo   -  Copyright  Darrin Zammit Lupi(Reuters)
By Reuters

(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)

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