De La Rue plc (LSE: DLAR, pronounced /ˈdɛlə ruː/ or US: /ˌdɛlə ˈruː/) is a British security printing, papermaking and cash handling systems company headquartered in Basingstoke, Hampshire. It also has a factory on the Team Valley Trading Estate, Gateshead. It is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 250 Index.
The Company was founded by Thomas de la Rue who moved to London in 1821 and set up in business as a stationer and printer. In 1831 his business secured a Royal Warrant to produce playing cards, in 1855 it started printing postage stamps and in 1860 it began printing banknotes. In 1896, the family partnership was converted to a private company.
In 1921, the de la Rue family sold their interests. It was first listed on the London Stock Exchange in 1947. The Company, then called Thomas De La Rue & Company Limited, changed its name in 1958 to The De La Rue Company Limited. A takeover bid for De La Rue was made by the Rank Organisation plc in 1968 but this was rejected by the Monopolies commission as being against the public interest. In 1991 the company’s name was changed again - this time to De La Rue plc.
In 1997 De La Rue acquired Harrison and Sons, the stamp and banknote printers, based in High Wycombe. Harrisons had made significent inroads into De La Rue's banknote printing operations.
In 2003 the Company acquired the Debden based banknote printing operations of the Bank of England.
The company was recognized by Hermann Simon as a role model for other small to medium sized business in his book Hidden Champions.