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AWARDS: Readers have just three weeks left to enter the 2003 PRWeek Awards – the deadline for entries is 7 July. Application forms can be downloaded from events/index.cfm?site=1.

FINANCIAL: The £25m MBO of Financial Dynamics International is being held up by a lender to debt-laden parent Cordiant Communications. US hedge-fund Cerberus Capital Management is reported to be fighting over details and using FD’s disposal – which has been in discussion since February – as a leverage in talks over Cordiant’s future. Leader p8

MEDIA: The Guardian has promoted Merope Mills from features commissioning editor to assistant features editor, it emerged as PRWeek was going to press. Amy Fleming has taken over as features commissioning editor. Features writer Sally Weale has moved to edit the health pages in the G2 section.

B2B: The Seal Group is set to launch a profile-raising campaign for ATM cash-machines supplier Hanco ATM Systems. The Birmingham-based agency will also handle ad campaigns and design work for Hanco, which used Borkowski PR until January

this year.

PUBLIC AFFAIRS: Former Connect Public Affairs deputy MD Malcolm George has resurfaced at Burson-Marsteller to lead its government relations team. George, who left Connect in August last year, started at B-M last week.

BIOTECH: HCC De Facto has been hired to handle

an international media relations programme to promote CORDIA-EuropaBio Convention 2003, a biotech conference and exhibition to be held in Vienna in December. The event will run from

2 to 4 December and organisers hope to attract 3,500 delegates.

CONFERENCE: GICS director general Mike Grannatt and BBC North head of regional and local programmes Colin Philpott will be among the speakers at the IPR Northern conference later this month. The event will be held at Leeds Metropolitan University on 27 June.

FINANCIAL: City PR firm Gavin Anderson & Co is advising Nordic group Baugur on its possible £46m bid for toy retailer Hamleys. Preferred bidder Baugur is expected to table a firm offer for the 200-year-old company next week. Brunswick is handling PR for retained client Hamleys.

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