De La Rue, the struggling banknote printer, has requested breathing space from its pension trustees by delaying nearly £20m of retirement funding payments.
Sky News has learnt that the London-listed company, which has seen its shares slump in recent years after a string of profit warnings, has asked trustees to defer the contributions in the last few weeks.
The company counts the Bank of England among its most significant customers, but has been beset by a series of mishaps over a protracted period.
In November, it issued the latest in a series of profit alerts and criticised its auditor, EY, for including a going concern warning in its accounts.
Since then it has disclosed further challenges involving its operations in India and Kenya, further hitting its depressed share price.
De La Rue now has a market value of just £131m.
A source close to the company said its pension deficit, like that of many corporate pension schemes, had improved significantly in the last 18 months.
“The pension scheme has had over £50m from the company in the last three years, so this is a natural rebalancing towards investors who have not done as well,” the source said.
They insisted that a rejection of the pension deferral request would have “no adverse” effect because the move was not being driven by liquidity needs.
A spokesman for De La Rue declined to comment.