Riksbank to sell printing machines in closed auction
- Published: May 22, 2021, 8 AM
A paper money sale unlike any other was scheduled for May 27 in a “closed tender” sale of 42 lots of bank note, security paper printing machines on behalf of the Riksbank, Sweden’s central bank.
The sale was being conducted by Troostwijk Auctions of the Netherlands due to, it says, the “relocation of the bank notes department, of a worldwide leading company in printing, in Sweden.” It would neither identify the company nor publicly say where the sale items could be examined. It would not give any other details. Viewing and collection information would be provided only by email, and before anyone could bid in the sale, registration had to be approved and a buyer’s acknowledgement document had to be signed and returned.
The sale listing is a soup-to-nuts menu, minus the people, of what it takes to get into the paper money business. It includes several KBAcolor offset banknote presses. KBA stands for Koenig & Bauer Banknote Solutions, the firm that claims the title of the world market leader in high-security printing solutions. Also offered were an intaglio press, a bank note protector varnish line, a cutting/packing line, a complete aqua save installation, a counting banding machine, a silk-screen processing system, a plastic mixing and preparing unit, an oven, lathe, and milling unit, and a Kodak offset plate processing system. Another five lots offered nothing but spare parts.
In 2002, Crane Currency, most widely known as the supplier of the paper used for United States currency, bought the Riksbank’s printing plant in Tumba, Sweden, where a bank note printing plant had been operating since 1755. On May 14, 2018, Crane announced that it would close the Tumba plant and move all its bank note printing to a new 140,000-square-foot facility in Malta. Crane kept in Tumba the headquarters of its international operations, its design team, and a bank note paper mill. Sweden’s paper money is now printed in England by De La Rue. Riksbank terminated its contract with Crane after the closing was announced.
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