UK £5 note firm sold to Canada

20 December 2016

The UK company Innovia Security, which contributes to the making of the new polymer £5 note, has been sold to CCL, a Canadian company that makes labels, for 1.13 billion Canadian dollars – or £680 million.

CCL boasts that it’s “a world leader in speciality label, security and packaging solutions for global corporations, government institutions, small businesses and consumers”.

The news, coming so close to the end of 2016, seems fitting in a year that has seen the sale of British businesses to overseas owners hit £100 billion.


Headline sales in 2016 include Softbank buying Cambridge-based ARM, service provider Adapt being bought by America’s Datapipe and the elongated drama of a takeover war between the Belgians and French over UK company Lavendon, which provides cherrypickers to firms across the world.

At the time of writing a deal has been made with Loxam, the French firm in this story, which is set to pay 220p a share for the company – a total value of £374 million.

Geoffrey T. Marin, president and CEO of CCL says:  “This transaction is another transformative acquisition for CCL… strengthening our depth in the materials science arena with proprietary BOPP [Bi-axially oriented polypropylene] films technology for the label, packaging and security sectors.”

Mark Robertshaw, chief executive of Innova Group, says:  “CCL will be an excellent long term owner for the employees and customers of Innovia. CCL recognises and values Innovia’s world leading technology, R&D and differentiation in Films and Security and sees a high degree of complementarity with CCL’s own capabilities and markets to establish new growth opportunities for their business."

Innovia supplies the material ‘Guardian’, which is used in the manufacture of polymer banknotes to a total of 24 countries, including the Canada, Mexico, Australia, Hong Kong, Singapore and Nigeria. The US, however, still uses cotton fibre paper and prints its currency at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing.

Coins don’t quite have the global flavour of banknotes and are still largely minted within their own country. The Royal Mint, suppliers of Britain’s tokens of commerce, has been busy designing the new 12-sided one pound coin, which is due to come into circulation in March 2017.

The Royal Canadian Mint has been busy too, releasing special coloured coins to celebrate various aspects of culture, both of the pop- and classic variety and it has even produced a glow-in-the-dark dinosaur coin.

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