The Royal Dutch Mint (KNM) has been sold.
The Belgian investment company Groep Heylen was recently selected from a field of 20 companies that initially registered themselves as interested in acquiring the Netherlands government-owned mint. Ten of these 20 companies eventually made a financial offer. The Netherlands was determined to sell everything from wall to wall, selling the building housing the mint to a different private buyer as well. The mint will remain in its current abode temporarily while Groep Heylen finds a less expensive location somewhere in Utrecht, the city now housing the mint, to which the facility will be moved.
Groep Heylen has pledged that KNM will remain in the Netherlands. It wasn’t clear at the time this article was being written if that is contractual or simply a declaration by the new owner. It is understood that the approximately 90 mint employees will remain.
According to information available from the mint’s new owner, “Groep Heylen invests with a distinctive blend of audacity and prudence. Its audacity often lies in its belief in people, their creativity and their sense of innovation ... To Groep Heylen creativity is an active verb. Groep Heylen really thinks ‘out of the box’. Creativity is about new ways of thinking and doing, not just wild ideas and concepts. Creativity is also needed for new techniques, structures and ways of thinking.”
Didier Clerx is the Groep Heylen chief executive officer. Clerx called the acquisition “a logical step towards the ambition,” adding, “Within Groep Heylen we [own] Mauquoy Token Company, National Tokens, and Royal Blanking International. All [of these are] Belgian companies operating since 1875, including the production of such things as metal chips, blanks, promotional, and souveniermunten. [With] The acquisition of KNM we now have a complementary product portfolio. This enables us to our ambition: to become world’s most competent coin house for small and medium-sized countries, realize.”
Clerx continued, “KNM is thereby [the] ultimate coin house for small and medium-sized countries and existing activities within Mauquoy, National Tokens, and Royal Blanking International are maintained for the most part. However, we obviously look at measures to make profitable KNM. This could then be given to focus on revenue growth, knowledge development, and cost reduction.”
Several sources reported Groep Heylen paying 3.550 million euro for the mint. The Treasury of the Netherlands is expected to realize about 2.4 million euro from the sale after paying off Treasury debts.
Mauquoy Token Company is identified on the company web site as Europe’s largest metal coin and token manufacturer, also specializing in private brands.
National Token produces “national tokens,” souvenir tokens sold through machines in approximately 900 locations in 30 countries.
Royal Blanking International is in Antwerp, Belgium. It manufactures coinage blanks for circulating coins, for base metal composition medals and offers electroplating services.
KNM currently strikes coins for the Netherlands as well as several foreign countries. KNM, under Groep Heylen ownership, will continue to strike circulating and commemorative coins for the Netherlands through 2018 under the current contractual agreement. The Netherlands’ central bank will continue to be responsible for counterfeit coins and their destruction.
According to the Nov. 22 issue of the newspaper Gazet van Antwerpen, “The intercession of the government, the parliament has approved in mid this year with the sale of KNM. This was adopted in the Dutch government participation policy that is not the ownership of the government, but the laws and regulations are the first instruments to safeguard its public interests. Public funds are scarce and should only be used where it is really needed. That policy was the basis for the government to sell KNM.”
This article was originally printed in World Coin News. >> Subscribe today.
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