Christopher Adams

The Business Herald’s markets and banking reporter.

Christchurch earthquake: Cavotec staff work from home

Cavotec's equipment is made overseas. Photo / Supplied
Cavotec's equipment is made overseas. Photo / Supplied

Staff at Christchurch-based Cavotec MoorMaster are working from home after their central city building was evacuated because of the earthquake.

The manufacturer of vacuum mooring systems for ships - owned by NZX-listed Cavotec MSL Holdings, which has its corporate headquarters in Switzerland - employs 15 staff in New Zealand at its Christchurch design centre, according to general manager David Williams.

All the staff in the building at the time of the quake managed to get out safely.

The firm's building - located in Barbadoes St, now within the central city cordons - had been "yellow stickered", Williams said.

A yellow sticker means access to the building is limited and further evaluation is required.

"The [staff] are able to work as normally as possible from home, because we're a digital-based company so everything's online," Williams said.

He said critical computer hardware was removed from the premises immediately after the quake and the company was looking to secure office space outside the CBD.

The MoorMaster units are manufactured overseas, mostly in Europe and North America.

Despite the disruption to the design centre, Cavotec MSL Holdings had yesterday still failed to update the market on the situation.

Many listed firms with Christchurch operations quickly released announcements on the NZX website after last week's earthquake - evenif their facilities had sufferedminimal damage and were quickly operational - including Skellerup, Steel & Tube Holdings and Scott Technology.

The Business Herald sent an inquiry to Cavotec's Switzerland-based corporate communications manager last week, requesting an update on Cavotec's Christchurch operation, but received no reply.

Cavotec last week unveiled plans to delist from the NZX and re-float on Stockholms's Nasdaq OMX.

Asked why no announcement had been made to the NZX on the situation, Williams said: "We haven't been asked. I'm not sure if it's something that's a requirement but I'm sure it will come out in due course."

Shareholders Association director Des Hunt said listed companies had a responsibility to keep their investors informed.

Hunt said: "If you want shareholder support and loyalty, then it's always a good policy to keep them informed when you can."

- NZ Herald

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