Top shareholders wanted to appoint Nat Rothschild as De La Rue chairman

Bust-up over chairman at De La Rue: Top shareholders wanted to appoint Nat Rothschild

Top shareholders in banknote printer De La Rue wanted to appoint billionaire Nat Rothschild as chairman, it has emerged.

It yesterday hired Clive Whiley, a turnaround veteran who is chairman of Mothercare and viewed in the City as a safe pair of hands. 

But Crystal Amber, which owns 10 per cent, said leading shareholders wanted Rothschild, who has transformed industrials firm Volex.

First choice: Crystal Amber, which owns 10% of banknote printer De La Rue, said that leading shareholders were pushing the board to hire billionaire Nat Rothschild as chairman

Crystal Amber boss Richard Bernstein told Sky News: ‘This is a wasted opportunity not to involve a leader who already had a clear plan to rejuvenate a business that has suffered greatly from poor management.’ 

Rothschild is flying high after investing in Volex in 2008, a provider of power products.

Crystal Amber has fought a long battle with De La Rue which has performed disastrously in recent years, lavishing big pay packages on executives despite profit warnings. 

The shares are down 60 per cent in the last six months and it has a market value of less than £80million.