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NCE Live News Wednesday 20 November: Hyder plots acquisitions; workers killed on South African shopping centre site

Consultant Hyder has today told the City that has all the “firepower” it needs to grow by acquisition. Meanwhile in South Africa rescuers are trying to find survivors after a shopping mall under construction collapses.

9.30am: RedR has told NCE it is still getting a very confusing picture of the situation in the Philippines.

RedR UK has an operative in the Philippines conducting a needs assessment right now. But RedR chief executive Martin McCann has told NCE that it may yet be some weeks before the true scale of the disaster is known.

McCann’s view echoed UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) spokesperson Adrian Edwards who told the media in Geneva yesterday that thousands of typhoon survivors from Tacloban and other affected areas were believed to have left in search of family and aid in surrounding areas or as far away as Cebu and Manila.

Starting today, UNHCR and its partners will set up a designated area at the airport in Tacloban to collect information on these displaced people, their destinations and vulnerabilities, and try to ensure assistance on arrival and prevent trafficking incidents.

In the Ormoc area, local authorities told UNHCR that although most of the 109 affected administrative areas had received some aid, food, medicines and shelter are still urgently needed, with some places yet to receive non-food aid such as plastic sheets and blankets.

8.30am: Hyder plans to build on strong results with acquisitions.

Hyder has told the City that it has the firepower it needs to pursue growth acquisitions after announcing results for the half year ended 30 September 2013.

It said its net cash balances of £6.0M coupled with unutilised borrowing facilities of £48.6M gives the Group “good firepower” for mergers and acquisitions (M&A).

The firm added it had proven track record in M&A, citing its recent acquisitions of Scottish specialist energy consultant PCS and Australian offshore design firm BCH.

Results were in line with market expectations, it said. Group revenue was static at £150M but its order book was 24% up on the same point last year at £438M.

News from overnmight: Up to 50 feared dead in South Africa construction site accident

One person has died and about 50 are feared trapped after a roof collapsed at the construction site of a South African shopping mall, officials say.

Rescue teams have been working in the dark and using sniffer dogs to look for survivors beneath the rubble at the site in Tongaat, north of Durban.

The deputy mayor of the municipality told South African media that authorities had obtained an injunction a month ago to halt construction at the site. She refused to name the contractor involved but said it had worked in the municipality before.

“There are areas of the law that they [the contractor] did not follow in terms of building,” Nomvuzo Shabalala told broadcaster ENCA, adding that there were “planning issues”.

“It was a surprise today that they were continuing building,” she said, adding that it was not a failure of the municipality for failing to ensure that work had stopped.

She said contractors would have to face the “legal consequences”.


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