Green light for Van Hool takeover

The receivers of the bankrupt Flemish bus and coach builder Van Hool have reached an agreement with Dutch-owned VDL and Germany’s Schmitz Cargobull on a takeover, after a financial crisis threatened the future of the manufacturer.

The deal to restart production rapidly came after Dutch bus builder VDL Groep had earlier threatened to walk away from rescue talks if it was forced into a bidding war with other parties.

The Dutch-German tandem initially seemed to be the only candidate to take over the remnants of Van Hool after the company was declared bankrupt, but then others expressed interest, including Flemish entrepreneur Guido Dumarey. Although he previously withdrew an offer, Dumarey came up with a new bid together with America’s ABC, which has been selling Van Hool buses in the US for many years. The Dutch newspaper De Tijd said VDL and Dumaray each bid roughly €200million (£172.5million) for hitherto family-owned Van Hool. This has not been confirmed by the companies involved.

“We are happy that we can launch a quick restart with VDL Groep and GRW (a partner company of German’s Schmitz Cargobull),” receivers for announced in a press release.

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