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Last Updated:  Friday, 21 March, 2003, 15:27 GMT
Birmingham Mint goes bust
Euro coin
Birmingham Mint makes euro coins
The Birmingham Mint, the world's oldest private mint, has been put into administration.

The Mint - one of the makers of Euro coins - has been striking coins for 209 years.

But it has been struggling with cash flow problems after losing major contracts.

The Mint, based in Hockley, Birmingham has been placed in the hands of administrators from KPMG.

The administrators have made 51 people redundant and kept on 64 others.

Joint administrator Mark Orton said: "Over the coming weeks we will be trading the company to fulfil orders still in place while we actively seek a buyer for the business."

Royal Mint

Last year, the Birmingham Mint brought a 5.4m ($8.5m) damages claim against the Royal Mint in London over an alleged breach of contract.

For the past 40 years the Birmingham Mint had had an agreement, publicly recognised in the Royal Mint's annual accounts, to get a fixed proportion of any Royal Mint overseas contracts.

But the Royal Mint ended the agreement in 2001, cutting off a significant part of the Birmingham Mint's business.

The company was founded in 1794. Two years ago it was sold to its former chief executive, Roland Vernon, by 3i.

Besides coins, it also produces medals and tokens for the vending industry.


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