Despite newspapers headlines promising cashless future soon, the banknote industry is doing well and still has potential. This is why one of the leading industry players, Oberthur Fiduciaire, aims to grow and recently received a good opportunity to reach new heights. It was the acquisition of Dutch VHP Security Paper, and the deal has already become successful for both parties.

The banknote printing is a highly specialized and somehow classified business. You cannot take work home, negotiations are held behind closed doors, and the facilities are protected no worse than state security objects. The industry is relatively small compared to others, and there are not so many players in the market.

At the same time, the banknote printing will remain the largest niche in the security printing market, even though its growth rates will decrease somewhat due to the spread of non-cash payment, cryptocurrencies, and other factors. In this context, banknote printers will have to keep up by offering more innovative banknotes with improved security features, Smithers Pira reports.

Currently, banknote manufacturers do not have too much wiggle room. They have to tirelessly improve their professionalism, trying to always be one step ahead of counterfeiters. Sooner or later, any business will have to think about mergers/acquisitions as a strategic move to develop. Sometimes a good opportunity turns up out of the blue, and for Oberthur Fiduciaire it was the acquisition from Sequana Group of a banknote paper production plant known as VHP, as well as all its intellectual property. As a result of the transaction, Oberthur Fiduciaire consolidated its position as one of the largest and fastest growing banknote printers in the world. In a press release announcing the transaction, Thomas Savare, CEO of Oberthur Fiduciaire, said he was excited about the idea of integrating the Dutch company into their operations describing the acquisition as “the perfect match for both Oberthur and VHP.”

Introducing new security and traceability features and smoothening its supply chain were the main strategic objectives of Oberthur. In general, cooperation was more than successful. Both companies are already preparing to release a new product: self-verifying banknote features comprising a transparent through window. Currently, several concepts are investigated to offer interactive experiences to whomever would like to authenticate banknotes in their possession.

Goals of Oberthur Fiduciaire and VHP Security Paper are almost identical. Both companies are export-oriented (and this is not surprising since foreigners dominate among their customers), both are willing to invest a large amount of time and money in R&D activities, and both also have equally high production requirements supported by ISO, OHSAS, and certificates from the ECB and other Central Banks. “Many printing skills, finishing skills, and design skills are needed, besides growing R&D activities, all which develop new security features to adapt new techniques and new processes, to enhance the security and the durability of banknotes, says CEO Thomas Savare. These are some of the main concerns of the central banks we work with.” These aforementioned certificates attest to the quality of the products and respect of the environment, but also and above all to the security of the entire operation from production to delivery, and prevention against corruption. Hence, we can expect Oberthur Fiduciaire to reach new heights in this competitive market.

Ultimately, the takeover of VHP by Oberthur Fiduciaire is a typical case of mutual enrichment. Oberthur allows the Dutch company to have a second life and in return VHP allows Oberthur Fiduciaire to consolidate its quality control and the reliability of its entire operation.