De La Rue picks turnaround expert Whiley as chair

 (Bank of England/AFP via Getty Images)
(Bank of England/AFP via Getty Images)

Banknote printer De La Rue has appointed seasoned turnaround specialist Chris Whiley as its new chair, after its share price fell by 60% in the last six months.

Whiley is currently chair of Mothercare, leading the retailer through the collapse of its UK business and turning it into a brand focused on overseas markets.

He was also chair of funeral director Dignity from 2019 until he was ousted in a shareholder revolt in 2021. He joined the business after its share price had fallen by more  than 80% in the space of just over 18 months.

De La Rue, which has seen shares tumble after repeated profit warnings in the past year, noted that Whiley “is capable of operating in all operational, financial or regulatory circumstances”.

“I am keen to lend my proven experience and knowledge to assist management as it strives to optimise the underlying intrinsic value of the business,” Whiley said.

Margaret Rice-Jones, Senior Independent Director of De La Rue, said: “I am pleased to welcome Clive to the Board of De La Rue.  He brings a wealth of experience in listed companies operating in many different countries and environments. He is a highly respected business leader with a proven track record and ideally suited to support the executive team in delivering future growth.”

The 202-year-old banknote printer said last month that “demand for banknotes has been at the lowest levels for over 20 years”. Its shares once traded at 1,270p, and they were still worth more than 400p before it lost the contract to print the post-Brexit blue passport to a Franco-Dutch company Gemalto.

Today, shares are at 41.0p, after a rise of 1.4p following Whiley’s appointment.