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De La Rue challenges UK government on award of £490mln post-Brexit passport contract

De La Rue told the Financial Times on Monday that it was taking the first steps towards initiating a judicial review in the High Court against the provisional decision to award the contract to Gemalto

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De La Rue’s current UK burgundy passport contract, which is worth £400mln, ends in July 2019

De La Rue plc (LON:DLAR) is to appeal the decision by the UK Home Office to award the new post-Brexit passport contract to a Franco-Dutch firm as the UK government extended a deadline for the deal.

The FTSE SmallCap firm told the Financial Times on Monday that it was taking the first steps towards initiating a judicial review in the High Court against the provisional decision to award the contract to Gemalto.

READ: De La Rue shares drop as banknotes firm sneaks profit warning into news of CFO’s resignation

The UK government’s decision to award the £490mln blue passport contract to the overseas firm has been widely criticised, with the Daily Mail newspaper leading a campaign against the decision and organising a petition, which has more than 266,000 signatures.

The Home Office said choosing Gemalto to produce post-Brexit passports will save taxpayers about £120mln over 11 years.

The UK firm, however, told the Financial Times that Gemalto is in favourable position simply because it has undercut its competitors. De La Rue’s current UK burgundy passport contract, which is worth £400mln, ends in July 2019.

Meanwhile, a spokesman for UK prime minister Theresa May said on Tuesday that the deadline to award a contract has been extended by two weeks from April 3 to April 17, following a request from De La Rue, as it was looking for more information from the department on its decision-making progress, Reuters reported.

In afternoon trading, De la Rue shares were down 0.2% at 508p.

Quick facts: De La Rue PLC

Price: 160 GBX

LSE:DLAR
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Market Cap: £312.02 m
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