MMI issue could give Morton a 36% stake

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The Independent Online
MMI has dismissed as pure speculation rumours that Bob Morton, the financier, is aiming to turn the financial marketing company into a 'shell' for his private interests, even though he could soon own a 36 per cent stake.

The company yesterday announced a plunge into the red, no dividend and a pounds 300,000 capital injection via the issue of 6 million shares at 5p each. MMI's shares fell 3p to 7p on the news.

Adrian Bradshaw, chief executive, said the injection was not imperative since 'we have no borrowings', but without it 'things would be much tighter'.

Profits of pounds 317,000 in the 1990 year turned into a pounds 383,000 loss in the 14 months to February. And 1992 was likely to be ' difficult', Mr Bradshaw said.

MMI's issue is in effect underwritten by Mr Morton, who will become MMI chairman, and by Stratagem, an investment company.

Mr Morton, on holiday in Barbados, bought an 11 per cent holding a year ago.

He has agreed to subscribe for 2.1 million shares and 75 per cent of the 3 million offered to shareholders by way of clawback which are not taken up.

Similarly, Stratagem has subscribed for 900,000 shares with a 25 per cent clawback facility. It could end up with 1.65 million shares, or 11.2 per cent.

If shareholders spurn the issue, Mr Morton will end up with 36.1 per cent of MMI. The Takeover Panel has agreed to waive rules that would require Mr Morton to make a takeover bid if his stake tops 30 per cent.