The German Federal Ministry of Finance, the Federal Ministry of the Interior and the shareholders of Bundesdruckerei have agreed that Bundesdruckerei GmbH shall be sold to the Federal Republic of Germany, bringing the company back into full government ownership.
The move was met with mixed feelings from industry insiders but was welcomed by the company directors who said that it ensures that Bundesdruckerei can successfully continue its national and international business in ID products and banknotes.
The acquisition of Bundesdruckerei meets a security requirement for awarding the company a contract to produce the country’s electronic identity card. Bundesdruckerei will now build a new production plant worth a total of up to 50 million Euro at its location in Berlin, safeguarding currently approximately 1300 jobs.
The privatisation of Bundesdruckerei ended up being something of an unfortunate exercise, thanks primarily to factors outside its control. The Federal Republic of Germany had privatized Bundesdruckerei in 2000 by selling the company to a financial investor. The economic slump in the telecommunications market subsequently placed considerable pressure on ORGA Kartensysteme, then Bundesdruckerei GmbH’s subsidiary. Its economic difficulties also caused Bundesdruckerei serious financial problems.
To solve these difficulties the Federal Government, the banks and former shareholders agreed a restructuring plan under which Bundesdruckerei was indirectly taken over by partners of the international law firm Clifford Chance and a Frankfurt-based business consultant. The restructuring and reorganization of Bundesdruckerei was then completed.
Today Bundesdruckerei claims to be a profitable company aims to do its utmost to further expand its position in this highly competitive market environment.
(As a side note the deal also brings to an end a legal fight that the company could not legally be called Bundesdruckerei if it was not a state owned entity.)