Oberthur funding in doubt

DE La Rue’s share price has sunk 5.8 per cent to 787p since the start of the week as doubts surface over Oberthur Technologies’ ability to fund its 905p bid, worth £896m.

Oberthur is in talks with several private equity houses about its offer, which it has until 7 February to finalise due to a “put up or shut up” order from the Takeover Panel.

The move to give away a stake in its potential purchase suggests that Oberthur might not be confident of being able to take on the debt to buy all the equity outright. “It means that concerns about its abilities to raise financing are probably well-placed,” said a source close to De La Rue.

However, there is also said to be interest from a range of non-private equity investors who could fund the deal. Oberthur now has a tight timeline for getting its financing together.

The share price was also knocked by a 14p interim dividend pay-out.