Giesecke & Devrient

Giesecke & Devrient

Giesecke & Devrient (G&D) is a German company headquartered in Munich that provides banknote and securities printing, smart cards, and cash handling systems.

In delivering banknotes and banknote paper, the company is subject to strict rules defined by the World Bank. [ Giesecke & Devrient Halts Deliveries to the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe | Scientific Blogging ] ]


Founded in 1852, the firm initially specialized in currency and securities printing. Since then, it has expanded operations to include banknote processing, smart cards, identification systems, and e-payments. The firm is the world's second largest supplier of banknotes, [,0,3850703.story?track=rss>] with annual revenues of $2.45 billion. [ Free Preview - ] ] They have over 8,000 employees, and some 50 subsidiaries and joint ventures around the world [cite web | url =,48867&_dad=portal&_schema=PORTAL | title = Giesecke & Devrient: Profile | accessdate = 2007-09-27 ] . The company operates printing facilities in Germany (Munich and Leipzig), as well as Ottawa, Canada, and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. It currently supplies euro notes for the German Bundesbank.

In 2000, Giesecke & Devrient established its North American headquarters in Dulles, Virginia, a suburb of Washington, D.C.

The firm produces special paper for use in instruments such as banknotes, checks, bonds, certificates, passports and other identification, and tickets.

In addition to Germany, Giesecke & Devrient has printed banknotes for other various countries through the years, including Cambodia, Croatia, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Peru, Zaire, and Zimbabwe.

Giesecke & Devrient supplied currency during the inflation in the Weimar Republic in the 1920s, one of the most prominent cases of hyperinflation. It also printed tickets to the 1936 Olympics in Nazi Germany and did business with Spain under Franco.

In October 2002, Giesecke & Devrient, along with The Information Security Group, Royal Holloway, University of London and Vodafone set up the Smart Card Centre, which is part of the ISG at Royal Holloway.

Zimbabwe controversy

Giesecke & Devrient have a history of doing business with Zimbabwe going back to 1965, and they have been supplying paper for banknotes to the government of Zimbabwe throughout the hyperinflation in Zimbabwe.

In June 2008 U.S. officials announced they would not take any action against the firm 'that is providing key support to Zimbabwe's brutal regime and is also an important contractor to the American government'. [ [,0,3850703.story?track=rss U.S. won't punish Giesecke & Devrient over Zimbabwe aid, source says - Los Angeles Times ] ]

It was reported that on the 1st of July 2008 company's Management Board decided to cease delivering banknote paper to the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe with immediate effect. The decision was in response to an "official request" from the German government and calls for international sanctions by the European Union and the United Nations. Dr. Karsten Ottenberg, Chairman of the Management Board and CEO, explained:

"Our decision is a reaction to the political tension in Zimbabwe, which is mounting significantly rather than easing as expected, and takes account of the critical evaluation by the international community, German government and general public."


External links

* [ Giesecke & Devrient company website]
* [ Giesecke & Devrient North American company website]

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