Fleeting meeting as Mosaic marks time

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GREG HUTCHINGS yesterday presided over one of his quickest, and possibly his last, annual meeting held by Mosaic Investments, the mini-conglomerate known for its merchandising of cartoon characters such as Desperate Dan and Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles, writes John Shepherd.

The company's 52nd meeting lasted less than five minutes, and was adjourned until Mosaic ratified fresh banking facilities with Barclays and Midland.

Mosaic's shares were suspended at 60p on Tuesday. The company was unable to meet the cash requirement of redeeming pounds 3m of preference stock owned by Rodney Day, who sold his advertising business to the company in 1988 for cash and shares.

Mr Hutchings, acting chairman following the removal in July of Brian Disbury, adjourned yesterday's meeting because some shareholders had dispatched proxy votes without knowledge of this week's events.

No shareholder queried the decision, and no questions from the floor were fielded. A mood of dejection could be detected, however, and private meetings were held between some of the 50 shareholders present and directors.

During his four-minute address, Mr Hutchings, who also heads Tomkins, said good progress had been made on finding a permanent chairman, and he expected to make a further announcement.