De La Rue boss avoids AGM revolt risk, but still faces challenges

De La Rue faced the threat of revolt at this week’s AGM, but boss Martin Sutherland is on “probation” after his unsuccessful treatment critical contract to print UK passports.

A leading investor has warned that “the jury is very much” on the De La Rue management and “something will have to change”.

“We don’t think he’s quite on the right page, but we still have to discuss it with him,” said the investor.

A meeting was held between the shareholder and the President described as “not very impressive in terms of what we would like to see, but this process”.

De La Rue prints banknotes of the British


Banknote and security printer initially said that the launch of the legal challenge after losing a £490m, 10-year British passport, contract of Franco-Dutch competitor gemalto in March.

But just a few weeks later Mr. Sutherland performed the about-turn, saying it was “sensible and pragmatic” does not begin a court fight with the government.

One source close to De La Rue said: “the position Martin was under great pressure a few months ago, but he returned to the safe zone for now. While he doesn’t [make mistakes] before the end of six months he should be fine.”

De La Rue

Pressure control was activated, the activist investor crystal amber. However, Mr. Sutherland has done enough to ease concerns of investors, to avoid a riot on Thursday at the meeting.

Richard Bernstein, who leads of crystal amber, which is understood as accumulated around 4pc stake in De La Rue, said on the eve of the annual General meeting of shareholders: “from our point of view is still that if the company can demonstrate growth [investors], you would have to change.”


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