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03 Jan 12. Auto specialists, APR and Torque, join forces to form biggest motor industry PR group. Motor industry PR specialists, Automotive PR (APR) and Torque PR, have merged, in a deal creating the largest independent automotive public relations group in Europe. The two brands will continue to operate independently, under the ownership of Orb Communications Group Ltd, APR’s parent company. At the same time, the Group is launching two new services to the automotive sector: a market research division specifically targeting the growing Chinese market, and Sceptre Social Media, a pure SM consultancy to advise and train PRs in the use and benefits of social platforms. APR has been at the heart of the automotive industry for 11 years, with a B2B focus that serves clients including Bosch, Continental Tyres, DAF Trucks, Optare, TATA Steel and Vauxhall. APR also operates a growing global network which currently includes eight partner offices across Europe and North and South America, India and soon Australia and has its own business in China. Torque PR was established in 2009 by Peter Haynes and Phil Hale and has grown rapidly, providing consumer PR and event management for premium auto brands that include Land Rover, Jaguar, RM Auctions, GTO London and luxury lifestyle event Salon Privé, as well as UKiP Media and Events. Haynes and Hale will join APR’s Martin Hayes, Marco Ferrari, Belle Moss and Mus Kortach as executive directors on the board of Orb Communications Group, to oversee all its business interests. The Group is also adding Orb PR to its portfolio of operations to cater for growing demand from non-automotive industrial clients.

09 Jan 12. B/E Aerospace (Nasdaq: BEAV – News), the world’s leading manufacturer of aircraft cabin interior products and the world’s leading distributor of aerospace fasteners and consumables, has signed a definitive agreement to acquire UFC Aerospace Corp. (UFC), an innovative provider of complex supply chain management and inventory logistics solutions to aerospace original equipment manufacturers. UFC currently distributes over 150,000 SKUs (stock keeping units) including fasteners, chemicals, paints, sealants, tooling, and duct/bent tubing assemblies to over 1,000 customers. UFC leverages its long-term relationships with key customers to create differentiated supply chain solutions. (Source: Yahoo!/BUSINESS WIRE)

09 Jan 12. BMT Defence Services Ltd, a subsidiary of BMT Group Ltd, the leading international maritime design, engineering and risk management consultancy, has had its status as Recognised Organisation (RO) renewed by the Ministry of Defence (MOD) with an increased scope. The RO status permits BMT to undertake assurance activities on behalf of the MOD Naval Authorities. BMT’s delegation to carry out structural and watertight integrity surveys in support of safety certification as well as overseeing third-party inclining experiments to ensure accuracy, has been renewed by the MOD. BMT’s experience and expertise in this field enables it to deliver assurance against MOD and commercial standards for a range of new and existing ships. Under the renewed RO scope, BMT has also been given full delegation for undertaking plan approval activities for auxiliary and combatant ships for the Buoyancy and Stability Naval Authority. BMT is the only one of the four RO organisations to have been given this status. The MOD Naval Authority plan approval process is similar to gaining plan approval from a classification society for a commercial build and involves an audit of submitted plans, computer models and operator guidance documents against an agreed set of standards and operating regimes. The audit gives assurance that the design is going to perform as expected and within the limits of the level of risk that the MOD is prepared to accept. Prior to receiving this status, BMT proved its ability in this field by undertaking extremely complex and time sensitive projects. These projects includ

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