Curley calls it a day at Mice

Mice Group chairman Michael Curley is to retire from the board at the agency's annual general meeting later this month.

The announcement follows the appointment of Brian Shepherd who took over the role of chief executive previously held by Curley earlier this year (Event January).

Curley, 62, will also dispose of his shareholding in Mice, which amounts to 4.6m shares. "Having worked for the company for 45 years and witnessed its growth from an annual turnover of £20,000 to approximately £200m, I feel that it is proper that the company be handed over to my highly talented colleagues in whom I have every confidence," he said.

Mice Group vice-chairman Stephen Barclay has also announced he will resign at the AGM, planned for 14 March. Mice is now seeking to recruit two non-executive directors, one of whom will take over from Curley as chairman.

Meanwhile Mice, has also announced its intention to raise £25.1m by issuing 79.4m new shares priced at 34p each. The revenue will be used to reduce the company's bank loans, currently standing at £58.5m.

Mice chief executive Brian Shepherd said: "The issue will allow Mice to maximise its potential now that it has reached critical mass. After paying down the significant indebtedness that Mice incurred during a period of considerable growth, we will be in a much stronger position to generate cash as well as maintain the significant growth in profitability that we have enjoyed over this period."

Mice posted interim profits of £4.8m in the six months to 31 August 2004.

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