Former De La Rue head joins Oberthur

The French banknotes and smart cards firm Oberthur has hired the former chief executive of De La Rue as a long-term consultant but ruled itself out of making a further bid for the UK-based banknote printer for at least six months.

The statement knocked nearly 3 per cent off the shares of De La Rue, although Oberthur's appointment of James Hussey as an adviser to the chairman on a multi-year consultancy contract raised the prospect it would come back with a bid.

The French company terminated a 10-week pursuit of De La Rue after the British firm refused to enter talks over a £926m bid in January.