September 2, 2019 / 6:42 AM / a month ago

UPDATE 1-De La Rue names Kevin Loosemore chairman designate

(Adds background on CEO departure, SFO investigation)

Sept 2 (Reuters) - Banknote and passport printer De La Rue on Monday named software firm Micro Focus’ Kevin Loosemore as chairman designate and said he will replace Philip Rogerson, who will retire after more than seven years in the role on Oct. 1.

Rogerson’s retirement follows the departure of De La Rue’s chief executive officer, who agreed to step down in May after the company warned of a profit downturn this year.

Loosemore’s appointment comes as De La Rue faces disruptions after Britain’s Serious Fraud Office opened a criminal investigation in July over “suspected corruption” in its business in South Sudan.

The investigation is a setback for De La Rue, which last year lost the 400 million pound ($491.08 million) contract for Britain’s new blue passports and has seen its stock tumble since May after a profit warning, the CEO’s departure and a one-off hit for non-payment from Venezuela.

Loosemore is currently chairman of Micro Focus. He was on the board of Morse Plc, chief operating officer of Cable & Wireless Plc and has held senior positions in Motorola and IBM.

London-listed De La Rue has designed about a third of the world’s banknotes in circulation and is the world’s largest commercial printer of passports. ($1 = 0.8145 pounds)

Reporting by Noor Zainab Hussain in Bengaluru; editing by Arun Koyyur

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