UK's De La Rue faces another call to oust chairman

The corporate logo of De La Rue is seen at De La Rue Malta at Bulebel Industrial Estate in Zejtun
The corporate logo of De La Rue is seen at De La Rue Malta at Bulebel Industrial Estate in Zejtun, Malta April 24, 2018. REUTERS/Darrin Zammit Lupi
  • Crystal Amber calls for general meeting to oust De La Rue chair
  • De La Rue says considering legality of notice
  • Activist investor names nominee to replace Loosemore

March 31 (Reuters) - Activist investor Crystal Amber Fund (CRSL.L) is making another effort to oust the chairman of De La Rue (DLAR.L) after a failed attempt last year, seeking a shake-up at the struggling banknote printer to revive its performance and share price.

Crystal Amber, the London-listed company's third-biggest shareholder with a roughly 9.8% stake, on Friday called for a shareholder meeting to remove Kevin Loosemore and appoint Pepyn Dinandt in his stead.

De La Rue said on Friday it was considering the contents and legality of the requisition notice.

Dinandt is currently an executive at automotive supplier Eberspächer Group.

De La Rue, which designs paper and polymer banknotes for governments and central banks across the world and makes security features used to authenticate goods, has been struggling with lower profits and falling demand for currency.

In November, it warned on profits and of "material uncertainty that may cast significant doubt" on its future, saying that without winning key contracts or sufficient cost cuts, it would breach certain debt covenants.

The company's shares have lost roughly a third of their value so far this year. They lost nearly half last year.

"Crystal Amber believes that unless it takes immediate action, De La Rue's audit report for the year to March 2023 is likely to include a material uncertainty going concern qualification," the investor said in a statement.

The fund said that would have a huge impact on the company's ability to tender for new contracts and retain existing ones.

In October, Crystal Amber called for Loosemore to resign as chair, but a majority of shareholders in a meeting in December voted for him to stay.

De La Rue's finance chief Rob Harding is set to leave the business later this year to join e-commerce service provider PayPoint.

Reporting by Radhika Anilkumar in Bengaluru; Editing by Sonia Cheema and Mark Potter

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