by Ursula Kampmann
translated by Annika Backe
November 24, 2016 – Since April 2016, the Dutch Finance Directorate is searching for someone to buy the Royal Dutch Mint. With the Belgian investment group Groep Heylen it has now found the future new owner of the Royal Dutch Mint. 20 companies had registered themselves as potential buyers of which 10 made an offer for acquiring the Royal Dutch Mint. Four parties were shortlisted. The Finance Directorate decided in favor of Groep Heylen whose offer had amounted to 3.550 million euros. After the debts have been paid, the Dutch state will gain 2.4 million euros. Concomitantly, the contract for producing the Dutch circulation and commemorative coins was extended for a year, to expire in 2018. As originally planned for 2017, it is only then that invitations to tender will follow.
The Dutch Central Bank will assume responsibility for counterfeit deterrence and the destruction of invalid coins of which the Royal Dutch Mint used to take care.
Groep Heylen, a group of investors, characterizes itself as follows: “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.”
Part of Group Heylen is, among others, Mauquoy Token Company that refers to itself on its website as Europe’s largest manufacturer of both coins and tokens made of metal and specialized in private brands. The Group also includes “National Tokens”, a manufacturer of souvenir tokens that are sold through machines in nearly 900 places in 30 countries. Last but not least, Royal Blanking International belongs to Groep Heylen as well. Based near Antwerp, the manufacturer of blanks supplies blanks for circulation coins and base-metal medals and also does electroplating. Groep Heylen is hoping for synergy effects and positively assumes that it will develop the Royal Dutch Mint to become an important player in Europe.
Although the Royal Dutch Mint, with its workforce of 90, will remain in its traditional premises for the time being, it is planned to move to a cheaper location near Utrecht, because the building, too, has been sold to a private buyer. In an official statement, the Royal Dutch Mint said that it considered itself lucky since continuity was ensured with the new owner. Responsibility for the Dutch circulation and commemorative coins having been prolonged, the subscribers and customers of the Royal Dutch Mint would not have to cope with any changes.
A short English report can be found here.
The comprehensive statement of the Dutch Finance Directorate with all relevant details can be read here.
More information on Groep Heylen is available on its website.
Perhaps the Royal Dutch Mint will get an English website as well.